Heritage University to safely reopen campus for classes for the fall 2020 semester

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Heritage University to partially reopen campus for classes for the fall 2020 semester

Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University President Dr. Andrew Sund announced a plan to partially reopen campus for fall 2020 semester classes, at the main campus in Toppenish and its regional site at Columbia Basin College (CBC) in the Tri-Cities. Dr. Sund said one of the developments that led to this decision is Washington State governor Jay Inslee’s proclamation allowing colleges and universities to reopen. Sund also said Yakima County’s recent progress in containing the spread of the virus, resulting in its classification in Phase 1.5, is another reason for the partial reopening.

Dr. Sund said there is another set of circumstances for Heritage students that require a campus presence. “Heritage exists to serve students who face difficulties accessing higher education for various reasons, one of which is that they want to stay in this wonderful valley we call home. However, many students do not have the conditions in their homes to conduct significant academic work. Internet connectivity is unreliable and space is limited – especially if they have siblings in the home all of whom need quiet study space and access to high-speed Internet,” Sund said. “For them, access to higher education means coming to campus.”

Under Heritage’s safe reopening plan approved by the Yakima Health District, many courses will offer a combination of face-to-face instruction as well as remote learning. When on campus, steps will be taken to ensure that class sizes are kept small to allow for safe social distancing. In many cases, classes will be divided into subsections where one group comes to class and the other learns online one day, and then the groups switch for the next day. Students will also determine their ability to come to campus based on health-related concerns for themselves and their family members.

The majority of student support activities will be offered online. However, students who want in-person tutoring at the university’s Academic Skills Center will be accommodated by setting up Plexiglas dividers between the tutor and student.

Dr. Sund said every precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of all students, faculty and staff while on campus. “While we recognize that it is important to open our campus for instruction because of the needs of our students, we must do so while following the strictest safety protocols,” Sund said. Other protocols include the requiring of wearing facemasks at all times and the constant cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing of classrooms and other locations in use.

“Above all else, we must continue to lead with our mission, always acting in the best interest of our students across all aspects of their beings, their health and safety and their determination to continue to move forward with their lives and education,” said Sund.

More details on the safe opening plan can be found at heritage.edu/coronavirus.

To request an interview, please contact Davidson Mance at (509) 969-6084 or mance_d@heritage.edu.

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Reflection by Heritage University President Andrew Sund

Dear Heritage Community:

These past few days have been days of deep reflection for me. The brutal death of George Floyd, the subsequent demonstrations, and the violence around them have changed our nation in ways we are not fully prepared to understand.

The United States promises a society of opportunity and equity for all. We have always known that this promise is incomplete. Yet, since last week we have seen this incompleteness explode before our eyes. We have seen how there is no one United States, but many. Far too many of our citizens live in a United States of inequity and fear. The opportunities that many take for granted are completely absent for others. The agencies  that lead many to feel safe are forces of fear and violence for others.

These past few days I have also been reflecting about my own life. Am I doing enough to confront injustice and build a better society?  I hope that in these times we all ask ourselves similar questions.

This is perhaps an incomplete answer but I do believe in Heritage University. I do believe in our mission and that through a strong education we can make a difference in our world. Our graduates and our students represent the best of the United States and help us get closer to its promise.

However, I am deeply aware that Heritage is also imperfect. Our society still suffers from multiple forms of racism, overt and subtle, and Heritage University is not immune to this. Many times we fall into traps that lead, inadvertently, to unfairness.

My commitment is that as a University will work every day to overcome our own limitations and every day get closer to the promise of the United States.

 

Andrew C. Sund, Ph.D.
President

Heritage University to present the annual Bounty of the Valley Scholarship Dinner on KAPP and KVEW TV Saturday, June 6 at 7pm

HU President Andrew Sund as he appeared through a camera viewfinder during the recording of segments for the virtual Bounty of the Valley Scholarship Dinner (Ross Courtney Photos).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Heritage University to present the annual Bounty of the Valley Scholarship Dinner on KAPP and KVEW TV Saturday, June 6 at 7pm

Toppenish, Wash. – For 34 years, the annual Bounty of the Valley Scholarship Dinner has been hosted on the Heritage University campus in Toppenish on the first Saturday of June.  This year because of the coronavirus safety protocols in effect, the University has had to create a virtual scholarship dinner.  The one-hour event will air on KAPP/KVEW TV in Yakima and in the Tri-Cities as well as stream online at heritage.edu/sd2020 on Saturday, June 6 at 7 pm.

The Bounty of the Valley Scholarship Dinner is the University’s most important fundraiser of the year.  All of the proceeds go directly to student scholarships in the coming academic year and according to David Wise, Vice President of University Advancement the need for scholarships has never been greater. “In the changed world that we find ourselves in at the moment, so many students and their families have lost their jobs, which they count on to help pay for college.  In order for our students to stay in school, the need for scholarship support will be more critical now than ever.”

The event will feature stories from Heritage students and alumni, as well as appearances from many community, business, and political leaders. Wise is optimistic about the event and its ability to raise the funds needed.  “If there is one thing I know about the Yakima Valley it is about the generosity of the people who live here.  I think it is the nature of this special place we call home.  There is a pride in this valley and a desire to help the community thrive.  They see education as vital to continued growth and demonstrate their belief in the Heritage mission through their giving.

Dana Eliason, Senior Director of Donor Relations at Heritage is usually the chief architect of the annual dinner and was both melancholy and excited about this year’s virtual event.  “I will so miss seeing all of our amazing friends who gather on campus each year in June.  But I know in my heart it is not the dinner that they come for, it is the stories of our students.  That is why they come each year and that is why they give.  The students they invest in go on to contribute to our wonderful community in meaningful ways.  That is the dividend our donors reap from their giving.”

President of Heritage University, Dr. Andrew Sund thinks that not only does the virtual scholarship event have the potential to raise the necessary scholarship funds needed for students, but has the potential to introduce Heritage to a wide audience across the valley, who may have heard about Heritage but not know much about it. “I will miss the annual gathering on campus, it is always such a joyful evening.  But I think we will make many new friends across the valley as a result.  I know they will be encouraged by what they learn, and I hope, find a new place in their hearts for Heritage.”

For more information, contact Davidson Mance, Director of Media Relations at Heritage University, (509) 969-6084 or mance_d@heritage.edu.

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New Yakima Valley education initiative secures $11,000 in grants to help Yakima Valley families impacted by Covid-19

Toppenish, Wash. – A $10,000 grant secured by the Yakima Valley Partners for Education (YVPE) will be used to help 220 families in the Lower Yakima Valley impacted by the Covid-19 virus. The Latino Community Fund of Washington, one of the members of YVPE, secured the grant from the Communities of Color Coalition, and will use the money to give food vouchers to families in Mabton, Grandview and Sunnyside hardest hit by business closures due to the virus. Fiesta Foods in Sunnyside is also providing $1,000 to help with this emergency relief.

Micaela Razo, project manager for Latino Community Fund in central Washington, said many low-income migrants in Mabton, Grandview and Sunnyside now have no incomes to feed their families after losing their jobs. “These families have no other way to provide for their loved ones, and are in need of the economic support this grant will bring,” said Razo.

Latino Community Fund is a member of YVPE, an organization formed by Heritage University to tackle the challenges of educational attainment faced by communities in Yakima County across the cradle to career continuum – also known as collective impact.

In administering this specific grant, the organization will work with the school districts of Grandview, Mabton and Sunnyside to identify the families impacted by Covid-19 to provide them with food vouchers they can use immediately.

Heritage University to implement distance learning in response to Coronavirus concerns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Heritage University to implement distance learning in response to Coronavirus concerns

Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University is taking precautions to protect the health of its students, faculty and staff, their family members as well as the community beyond campus. Today Heritage President Dr. Andrew Sund announced protocols that follow closely the guidelines of the Yakima Health District, the Washington State Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control, to minimize the spread of the virus.

The first will be to extend Spring Break for undergraduate students through Sunday, March 22, 2020. There will be no classes the week beginning March 16, 2020. “During this time, we expect faculty and students to prepare to continue their programs using available online platforms, making other arrangements for distance learning or other mechanisms that maintain social distancing protocols,” said Dr. Sund.

Sund said beginning March 23, 2020, Heritage will deliver almost all instruction online for a two-week period through April 5, 2020. “Instructors will communicate with students electronically on how to obtain study materials, turn in assignments, and participate in a remote instruction environment,” he said.

Dr. Sund also announced all events taking place on campus between March 13, 2020, and April 30, 2020 will either be canceled or postponed. Decisions will be made whether to hold events scheduled for after April 30 as changing conditions warrant.

As a point of social responsibility, Dr. is strongly discouraging Heritage community members from traveling or attending events with large numbers of individuals. “We are taking these measures so that we may minimize the spread of the virus.”

For more information, contact Davidson Mance, media relations coordinator at (509) 969-6084 or Mance_D@heritage.edu.

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Heritage University to offer Master of Education in Reading which prepares teachers to help students overcome dyslexia and other reading disorders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Heritage University to offer Master of Education in Reading that will prepare teachers to help students overcome dyslexia and other reading disorders

Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University is now offering a master’s and undergraduate degree, as well as a certificate program that prepares teachers to help students overcome dyslexia and other reading challenges. The Master of Education in Inclusive Education: Dyslexia, ESOL and Cultural Competence provides students with in-depth training  on the theories, practices, pedagogy and technology in the field of reading education.

Kari Terjeson, chair of the Department of Teacher Education, said the program was developed after educators and school administrators told her there was a great need for expertise in this field. According to Terjeson, “Candidates who complete the program will know  how to identify, evaluate and deliver specialized instruction to students who, for reasons of language barriers or learning disorders, are struggling to learn how to read and write.”

According to Terjeson, the M.Ed. in Reading degree program at Heritage was developed according to the Washington Educator Standards, along with the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading from the International Dyslexia Association and the International Literacy Association. “Reading and writing are fundamental skills that all students need to build a lifetime of success, and this program will train teachers to help their students overcome their challenges and build their love of learning,” she said.

The flexibility of this master’s degree allows students to complete classes in on-campus lectures, online classes, and show competence in subject matter, which involves completing a portfolio assignment and an objective exam proving mastery. Students completing the program coursework or demonstrating proficiency and receive a passing score on the necessary Washington Educator Skills Test (WEST-E) and/or National Evaluation Series (NES) can earn endorsements in ELL/BLE and Reading, which qualifies them to teach reading across all grade levels within their area of concentration.  A Reading or ELL/BLE only endorsement option is available for teachers who already hold a master’s degree. Those completing the program will be able to demonstrate several learning outcomes, which ultimately act in the best interests of struggling readers and readers with dyslexia or other reading disorders.

The Master of Education in Reading program is open to current educators who hold a Bachelor of Arts in Education or a Bachelor of Education. For more information, contact Shari Foster at (509) 865-8623 or Foster_S@Heritage.edu, or Kari Terjeson at Terjeson_K@Heritage.edu. For interviews, contact Davidson Mance at (509) 969-6084 or Mance_D@Heritage.edu.

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Heritage University announces Fall 2019 Dean’s List

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Heritage University announces Fall 2019 Dean’s List

Toppenish, Wash. – The following are students who earned a place on the Heritage University Dean’s List for the fall 2019 semester. To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must be full-time, matriculated undergraduates who have earned semester grade point averages of 3.5 or better.

Marisa Abarca-Perez, Kennewick Brisel Acuna, Yakima Gissell Aguilar, Sunnyside
Paulina Alcala, Yakima Deyci Alejandre, Toppenish Maritza Alvarez, Sunnyside
Yessyca Alvarez, Grandview Yanett Alvarez, Yakima Carmela Andrade, Mattawa
Eilee Andujo, Prosser Ana Aparicio, Yakima Adrian Araiza, Yakima
Rosalinda Arreola, Toppenish Hema Balderas, Wapato Yosi Barajas, Yakima
Michelle Barba, Union Gap Anjuli Barragan, Toppenish Maria Barrios, Union Gap
Grace Bennett, Kennewick Sulem Bernal, Sunnyside Alyson Blair, Kennewick
Jeanne Blakeman, Pasco Abigail Bravo, Sunnyside Chandler Brimley, Kennewick
Alyssa Buck, Mattawa Jesus Buenrostro, Yakima Ruben Bustamante, Toppenish
Daisy Bustamante Orduno, Granger Roma Cantu, Toppenish Jennifer Cantu, Prosser
Brooke Capetillo, Toppenish Jenny Careaga, West Richland Juan Castaneda, Toppenish
Marlene Castillo, Yakima Leslie Castillo, Sunnyside Andrea Ceja, Toppenish
Jocelyn Celis Torres, Wapato Kevin Cervantes, Pasco Jesus Cervantes Valencia, Yakima
Diana Chavez Cerda, Yakima Maria Ciriaco, Toppenish Noemi Cisneros, Wapato
Isaiah Cisneros, Toppenish Ana Cisneros Chavez, Sunnyside Karina Colin, Sunnyside
Yuliana Colin-Flores, Pasco Madison Contreras, Pasco Melissa Correa, Pasco
Esmeralda Correa, Pasco Guadalupe Cortes, Wapato Almarosa Cortez, Wapato
Estefani Cruz, Wapato Vanessa Cruz, Pasco Alondra Cruz-Valladares, Yakima
Ashley Davis, Naches Xavier Day, Toppenish Connie Delacruz, Yakima
Esperanza Delgado, Toppenish Katherine Di Biase, Kennewick Keila Diaz, Granger
Irvin Diaz Tapia, Yakima Ginger Dingus, Kennewick Chestina Dominguez, Toppenish
Amanda Donelson, Kennewick Ashley Douglas, Yakima Kaylee Drummond, Richland
McKenzie Durand, Yakima Taylor Ebbelaar, Grandview Amanda Epler-Alegria, Kennewick
Jocelyne Espinoza, Yakima Kaulin Everham, Kennewick Sandra Feria, Grandview
Krisana Fernandez, Sunnyside Artemio Flores, Toppenish Erick Flores, Toppenish
Julia Flores, Toppenish Zahira Flores Gaona, Yakima Luis Garcia, Outlook
Evelyn Garcia, Wapato Leticia Garcia, Granger Esmeralda Garcia, Wapato
Jose Garcia, Wapato Jacqueline Garcia-Hernandez, Outlook Marlenne Garibay, Sunnyside
Dorothy Garwood, Prosser Anahi Garza, Richland Rigoberto Garza, West Richland
Enedeo Garza-Ramirez, Toppenish Samantha Gilmore, Yakima Irwin Godinez-Cruz, Toppenish
Lesly Gomez, Yakima Tania Gomez, Pasco Carmen Gonzales, Toppenish
Anayeli Gonzalez, Othello Zoe Gonzalez, Prosser Mariah Gonzalez, Toppenish
Noe Gonzalez, Toppenish Sandra Gonzalez, Kennewick Heather Gooss, Yakima
Kamimsa Goudy, Toppenish Jason Grajales, Brownstown Heidy Granados Lopez, Kennewick
Steven Greenwald, Richland Anna Griffith, Kennewick Shelby Groth, Selah
Sonia Guerrero, Toppenish Yazmine Guido, Yakima Kaylyn Gunnier, Zillah
Alexis Guzman, Pasco Martha Guzman, Yakima Yuli Guzman, Yakima
Anayeli Hermoso-Sedano, Yakima Stephanie Hernandez, Wapato Lizbeth Hernandez Islas, Yakima
Maira Hernandez-Gonzalez, Sunnyside Paola Herrera, Kennewick Ruby Herrera, Sunnyside
Bethany Herring, Kennewick Pete Herron, Yakima Tracie Hicks, Kennewick
Christina Holland, Kennewick Samantha Horvath, Kennewick Nansi Iniguez, Zillah
Guadalupe Iniguez, Zillah Kaneeta Jeffery- Zack, Zillah Leonila Jimenez, Toppenish
Zuzeth Jimenez, Toppenish Samanta Jimenez, Pasco Irene Jimenez, Toppenish
David Juarez, Yakima Kathleen Kasper, Richland Ekman Kaur, Kennewick
Wendy Kleppin, West Richland Viktoriia Konko, Kennewick Valentyn Konko, Kennewick
Julia Korotkov, Richland Maria Lechuga, Wapato Shiraz Lefeber, Pasco
Ilse Leyva Manzanarez, Yakima Yovana Leyva-Carmona, Wapato Andres Lima Elias, Othello
Mark Litka, Richland Elvira Lopez, Toppenish Yezie Lopez-Perez, Yakima
Kassandra Luna, Union Gap Daisy Luna, Wapato Jennifer Macias, Toppenish
Yareli Madrigal Luna, Pasco Herminia Magdaleno, Yakima Yaritza Maravilla, Toppenish
Elisa Mariscal, Toppenish Natalie Martinez, Sunnyside Alondra Martinez, Wapato
Dulce Martinez, Sunnyside Daisy Martinez, Wapato Andrea Martinez-Santiago, Toppenish
MaKayla Mathews, Richland Christina Mattson, Richland Stephanie Maybee, Selah
Judit Medina, Kennewick Luis Medina, Zillah Kailyn Mendez, Yakima
Debbie Mendez, Yakima Miguel Mendoza, Toppenish Andrea Mendoza, Yakima
Yesenia Mendoza, Mattawa Guadalupe Mendoza, Umatilla Jazmin Mendoza, Pasco
Stephanie Mendoza, Mabton Valentin Mendoza, Grandview Juan Mendoza Mendoza, Yakima
Alondra Mendoza-Gomez, Pasco Diana Meraz, Tieton Cassandra Mercado, Kennewick
Celine Michael, Yakima Priscila Montiel, Yakima Brenda Montoya-Roman, Yakima
Payton Moore, Richland Shamira Moore, Yakima Elizabeth Moreno, Yakima
Gabriela Moreno, Toppenish James Muggli, Kennewick Diana Najera, Union Gap
Susana Naranjo, Yakima Joselin Navarrete, Yakima Guadalupe Navarro, Sunnyside
Carrington Nevard, Richland Edith Noriega, Sunnyside David Olden, Yakima
Arlene Olea, Sunnyside Meaghan Oliver, Richland Elizabeth Orozco, Grandview
Kitzely Ortega, Pasco Esther Osorio Rangel, Parker Liliana Padilla, Grandview
Joaquin Padilla, Toppenish Miguel Palma, Yakima Yerim Park, Yakima
Marlene Paz, Kennewick Yolanda Penaloza, Grandview Ana Perez, Pasco
Hunter Perez, Kennewick Eric Philipp-Petrick, Yakima Allison Platsman, Sunnyside
Angela Ponce, Zillah Ruby Prieto, Grandview Kristina Prikhodko, Kennewick
Hunter Pryse, Yakima Dennise Quebrado, Yakima Maria Quezada, Grandview
Blanca Quiroz Marin, Prescott Stephanie Rabanales, Sunnyside Adrian Ramirez, Toppenish
Alexandra Ramirez, Yakima Elizabeth Ramirez, Toppenish Stephanie Ramirez, Pasco
Viridiana Ramirez, Pasco Briceida Ramos, Grandview Olivia Ramos Alvarez, Kennewick
Rosa Rangel, Connell Anyssa Rebollero, Yakima Rocio Regis, Toppenish
Araceli Regis, Toppenish Karen Reyes, White Swan Gloria Reyes, Granger
Juan Carlos Reyes Francisco, Buena Anitramarina Reyna, Yakima Makenzie Richardson, Selah
Viviana Rico, Pasco Rosa Rios, Moxee Morgan Roberts, Kennewick
Adriana Rodriguez, Kennewick Marisol Rodriguez, Yakima Lizbeth Rodriguez, Wapato
Cassandra Rodriguez, Grandview Karina Rodriguez-Escalera, Yakima Monica Romero Castro, Grandview
Leidy Rosales, Pasco Eva Rosenow, Kennewick Rosario Ruiz, Yakima
Milca Ruiz M, Richland Ella Ryadinskiy, Kennewick Rhonda Ryan, Richland
Ana Saldana-Carrillo, West Richland Kathleen Sanchez, Toppenish Jenny Sanchez, Toppenish
Katellin Santiago, Toppenish Angelita Santillan, Pasco Aiyh Sarama, Sunnyside
Danielle Sauceda, Pasco Robert Schreiber, Yakima Delia Serna, Sunnyside
Karly Serrano, Yakima Ida Shock, Toppenish Gabriel Sillas Ramos, Grandview
Yanna Slutskaya, Kennewick Jeniya Slutskaya, Kennewick April Smith, Selah
Jacob Snell, Kennewick Daniela Solis, Yakima Diana Solorio, Granger
Gerardo Soto, Toppenish Maria Soto-Galvan, Yakima Miriam Soto-Guillen, Wapato
Cody Stamper, Pasco Anothony Stewart, Yakima Nathan Thompson, Yakima
LisaLyn Tormey, Yakima Maribel Torres, Richland Yanet Torres, Zillah
James Torres, Grandview Yoana Torres, Sunnyside Brayan Torres Gutierrez, Sunnyside
Daisy Vaca, Wapato Maria Vaca, Yakima Maria Valencia, Toppenish
Jazmin Valencia, Yakima Anakaren Valenzuela, Toppenish Jacquelyn Vargas, Yakima
Maria Vargas, Sunnyside Brenda Vasquez, Toppenish Teresita Vega, Yakima
Angelica Vela, Yakima Paola Villanueva, Sunnyside Alejandra Villasenor, Kennewick
Citlaly Villegas, Wapato Dawn Waheneka, Wapato Tori Wapsheli, Toppenish
Whisper Weber, Yakima Robyn Webster, Yakima Morgan White, Kennewick
Devin Williams, Kennewick Sara Wilz, Pasco Miranda Yale, Brownstown
Sonja Young, Kennewick Amarani Zamora-Portugal, Kennewick

 

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Heritage University announces a new director for its Tri-Cities branch campus at Columbia Basin College

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Martin Valadez

Heritage University announces a new director for its Tri-Cities branch campus at Columbia Basin College

Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University President Dr. Andrew Sund has announced a new director for its Tri-Cities branch campus at Columbia Basin College. Beginning January 6, 2020, Martin Valadez, currently the Director of Workforce Education at Heritage, will lead the regional site.

The former director of the Tri-Cities operation, Dr. Marisol Rodriguez-Price had expressed a desire to return to the professorate within the College of Education. Dr. Sund saw this as an opportunity to make structural changes in the operation that would better align the CBC campus with the main campus in Toppenish. “Our regional site will be directed by an administrator reporting in the same chain as the Director of Admissions. This will allow for closer collaboration between Admissions and the regional site,” Sund said.

In announcing this administrative change, President Sund praised Rodriguez-Price for her excellent work over the last four years at CBC. “Heritage is grateful to Rodriguez-Price for her commitment to the Tri-Cities regional site.  She is an invaluable contributor to the Heritage University community and her dedication to the University’s mission is estimable,” said Dr. Sund.

Valadez will report to David Wise, the VP of Admissions, Marketing and Advancement; Valadez, Wise and Admissions Director Gabriel Pinon will form a team sharply focused on recruitment and admissions at the CBC campus where Heritage offers five Baccalaureate degrees: accounting, criminal justice, elementary education, psychology and social work, as well as a Master in Teaching graduate degree.

Valadez is exceptionally involved in both the academic and business communities in the Tri-Cities, where he has lived since 2006. Valadez has extensive higher education experience as both a professor and as an administrator. His most recent higher education work was at CBC where he served as a professor of history and intercultural studies and then as the Vice President for Diversity and Outreach. He also has strong business connections through his work as the former CEO of the CBC Foundation. Just this month, Valadez returned to the role of president of the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where he has served in various roles for more than ten years. He is also Board Chair with Communities in Schools Benton-Franklin; a board and executive committee member with the Tri-Cities Economic Development Council (TRIDEC); a trustee and vice-chair for Mid-Columbia Libraries, and a member of the Washington State Complete Count Committee.

Valadez will continue his work in Workforce Education through a period of transition. Rodriguez-Price will transition back into the College of Education, where much of her work will continue to be in the Tri-Cities.

For more information, contact David Mance, Media Relations Coordinator at (509) 969-6084 or Mance_D@heritage.edu.

 

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Heritage students to pack food boxes for local families as part of “Pantry of Hope” campaign

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Heritage students to pack food boxes for local families as part of “Pantry of Hope” campaign

Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University Enactus students will pack much-needed food boxes for 400 Yakima Valley families as part of the annual “Pantry of Hope” campaign. The boxing will take place Friday, December 13, 2019 in Smith Family Hall located in the Arts and Sciences Center at Heritage University in Toppenish. The boxes will contain perishable and non-perishable items and will be given to the families that participated in student-organized financial literacy events earlier this year.

Local media are invited to take pictures and video of the boxing process, which is scheduled to start at 12:00 p.m. and finish by 3:00 p.m.

To prepare for “Pantry of Hope,” Heritage Enactus students applied for corporate grants and worked with local grocery stores and businesses for food and other essentials. The students also worked with Lower Valley Credit Union to develop the financial literacy program that teaches families how to create and live on a budget.

The students have been holding “Pantry of Hope” for more than a dozen years. Over time, the program’s impact to help families in need during the winter months has caught the attention of other organizations. This year, the Yakima Housing Authority and Educational Service District 105 in Yakima reached out to Heritage Enactus to partner in providing short-term help to their clients.

“By offering financial education workshops and collecting food items, we have provided a pantry-filler for more than 3,000 families in the last decade,” said Heritage Enactus Director Dioselina Verduzco. “Communities all over the Yakima Valley have come to learn that the Pantry of Hope can give families the extra support they need during the winter months.”

The food boxes packed during “Pantry of Hope” will be picked up by the families on December 14 at several locations including Granger, Sunnyside, and Yakima. Also on December 14, select families will be picking up their boxes at Heritage as part of the “Winter Wonderland Family Event” taking place from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Dioselina Verduzco at (509) 865-0419 or Enactus@Heritage.edu, or David Mance at (509) 969-6084 or Mance_D@Heritage.edu.

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Heritage University students work to create awareness of missing and murdered indigenous people, Yakima Herald-Republic, December 9, 2019

Steven Escalera points to photos from the Dec. 1 vigil at the Toppenish Community Center for missing and murdered indigenous people, displayed along with flyers about missing people / Tammy Ayer, Yakima Herald Republic

TOPPENISH — In making a class presentation on missing and murdered indigenous women on the Yakama reservation, Christen Hoptowit Rivera and two fellow Heritage University students wanted to raise awareness of the issue.

Read the full story at YakimaHerald.com.