Sukay Navarette

Associate in Arts

Sukay Navarette is graduating this June with her associate degree and her high school diploma. Navarette, is one of many students taking advantage of the Running Start program at Yakima Valley College, which gives high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to complete their high school diploma and work toward a college degree at the same time.

Navarette grew up in Granger, Wash. A first-generation college student, she was excited to participate in YVC’s program.

“I wanted to participate in the Running Start program to get a head start in my journey of becoming a physician assistant. I wanted to get the experience of attending college for an easier transition to a 4-year university,” she stated.

Adjusting to an online learning environment during the COVID pandemic, Navarette found ways to be more self-disciplined and manage time better to help her achieve success. Her efforts paid off. She was recently awarded what amounts to a full-ride scholarship to attend Heritage University from ActSix as well as $22,000 from the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. She also earned additional scholarships from Yakima Federal Savings & Loan, PSE Union, Stilwell Family Memorial Scholarship and Betty Carpenter Memorial Scholarship.

“The Running Start program and attending Yakima Valley College has prepared me for success in my future goals by establishing a strong foundation that will enable me to be a successful student transferring to a 4-year university,” she continued.

Navarette plans to major in nursing at Heritage and later transfer to the University of Washington’s Physician Assistant program.

She also credits her family’s support for helping her find success.

“I would like to take this time to thank my mom, Dalila Ochoa, for raising me and always doing her best to provide for me and my younger sister. I am grateful for all of my family members and all they have done for me. I appreciate them all.”