Associate in Arts
Victoria Santoy was born and raised in Sunnyside, WA. Growing up she had a very dysfunctional home-life and through this experience developed a very close bond with her father. Once she began high school, Santoy began to struggle with mental health issues. She first enrolled at YVC through the Running Start Program in the fall of 2012, however poor time management and her struggle with mental health caused her to drop out of high school at the age of 17. She spent the next two and a half years working jobs here and there and attending therapy and learning to cope with her illness.
After getting a handle on her mental health, she re-enrolled at YVC in the fall of 2016 attending classes on the Grandview Campus. “The one thing I love about YVC is how welcomed I am here,” stated Santoy. “For the longest time I beat myself up for not graduating high school. I felt like having a GED was something that was valued as less than a high school diploma. YVC has a welcoming environment for people that come from all walks of life,” she continued.
YVC has also provided Santoy with the opportunity to get involved in campus life. She serves as the president of the Grandview Student Council. As part of her duties as president she helps plan and organize events for the student body. One of her biggest achievements was a Cancer Fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The event raised over $1,000 and Santoy even shaved her head to help raise awareness and to stand in solidarity with those going through treatment.
She graduates in June with an associate of arts degree. Following YVC she plans to transfer to Washington State University – Tri-Cities and major in psychology. “I’m passionate about mental health and helping people,” she continued. “My dream job is to become a licensed therapist and help those who suffered a lot like I did when I was younger. I believe that we still live in a society that brushes off mental illness as if it is not a ‘real illness.’ According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with mental illness that is not nothing. We need to talk about mental health and mental illness,” she concluded.