Lori Fischer

Associate in Arts

Lori Fischer is this year’s nominee for the Transforming Lives Award. The award, given by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, highlights a student who embodies the mission of community colleges. Fischer grew up in the Yakima Valley and has made this her home. She is returning to school after raising her family to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. However, the path to enrolling in YVC’s education program has not been easy. Fischer dropped out of high school and started a family at a young age. In 1990 she returned to school to earn her GED and was hired for her first job at Clif’s Septic Tank Service. She has continued to work at there while raising her family.

“Work hard, believe in yourself, follow your dreams, and make good choices. Isn’t that what we’re all taught?” stated Fischer in her application letter. “Not everyone. I don’t remember a time in my life when I was told to believe in myself, follow my dreams, or make good choices but it’s definitely what I tell my seven children every day,” she continued.

A victim of domestic abuse, Lori made the brave choice for herself and her family to escape. She focused on raising her children and helped encourage them to pursue their dreams. Now, years later, Lori has decided to make a change for herself. She enrolled at Yakima Valley College and is working to earn her associate in arts.

“My children are my life and now that they’re almost all raised and attending college for themselves or working in their careers, I feel it’s my turn to better my life,” stated Fischer. “For 27 years I have put my life on hold and made my children my life. Over 15 years ago, I made the terrifying decision to leave my abuser. Now I’ve made another scary decision, to return to college and become a teacher. By doing this, I will have the opportunity to share my patience with children, share my love for learning, and save for retirement,” she concluded.

Fischer will graduate in the fall of 2017 and plans to transfer to a four-year college or university. She hopes to one-day teach in the Yakima Valley.