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GEAR UP East Valley

GEAR UP | East Valley High School


We spoke with East Valley High School graduates about their experiences in high school and how they were able to navigate life in college.  The panelists volunteered to share their stories.


Ruth shares how she recovered after a rough academic start


Albert shares how he discovered his career path at WSU

Kendall shares why her first month at college was so difficult and how she found her way... 


Grace shares why she almost dropped out twice... 


Osvaldo shares how he moved far from home and found his community...

Jennia shares how she discovered a new way to study...

Brittney shares her career path as a 19-year-old business owner...




Ruth Adame
Hometown: Yakima, WA
High School:  East Valley High School
College: University of Washington
Year in College: 4th year
Major: Sociology with departmental honors
Dream job: I want to be an entrepreneur for a non-profit organization that promotes health advocacy and gives access to social, cultural, political, and organizational resources for low-income immigrant communities.
Ruth’s Places: UW ALVA GenOM Project, UW CAMP, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc., Ethnic Cultural Center, OMA&D Mentor Power for Success
High School Places: National Honor Society, Sports Medicine Club, Community Service
Are you a first-generation student?: Yes
Instagram: ruthadame_  Email: or



Albert Alamina
Hometown: Yakima, Washington
High school: East Valley High school
College: Washington State University
Year in College: Junior
Major: Biology/Ecology
Dream Job: Biologist for Forrest Service or National Park Service, arboreal researcher, high school biology teacher.
Albert’s Places: Faith ministries, residence government
High School Places: Football, wrestling, part-time employment.
Reach out to Albert on Instagram: Albert_Alamina.20k



Kendall Locke
Hometown: Yakima, WA
High School: East Valley High School
College: Grand Canyon University
Major: Early Childhood Education
Dream Job: I would love to teach either kindergarten or first grade overseas.
Kendall’s Places: I am a Resident Assistant at GCU, and the community that I have been surrounded by has been amazing.  I am a part of Big Lopes Little Lopes which is a club where you get to mentor freshman and sophomore students who are also in the major of Education.   Best Buddies is also a club that I was a part of where college students pair up with others who have an intellectual or developmental disability.
High School Places: I played softball, volleyball, and basketball in high school.  NHS
Reach out to Kendall on Instagram: _Kendall15 Email



Grace McRitchie
Hometown: Yakima, Washington
High School: East Valley High school
College: Central Washington University
Year in College: This is my first year on campus, however, I did Running Start and will be a junior this upcoming fall credit-wise.
Major: Paramedicine/Nursing
Occupation: I am an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Yakima
Dream job: Flight Nurse or Flight Paramedic
Grace’s Places: Equestrian team: I joined fall of ‘21 and found really great friends. RA’s host specific nights for activities at the dorms: A great way to find new friends and to experience a fun yet comforting atmosphere.
High School Places: Cheerleading, ASB
Are you a first-generation student?: Yes and no. I was actually adopted at the age of 13 and my biological parents have no education after high school. However, my adoptive parents have education after high school.
Reach out to Grace: Grace McRitchie via Facebook Instagram: gracemcritchie 



Osvaldo Arias
Hometown: Yakima, WA
High School: East Valley High School
College: University of Washington
Year in College: 4th year
Major: Bioengineering
Occupation: Bioengineering Undergraduate Research Asst in the Stayton Lab
Dream job: Bioengineering position in NASA's space biosciences branch and/or create a successful start-up in biotech
Osvaldo’s Places: Biomedical Diversity Community (BDC), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Scholars Pursuing Academic and Celestial Exploration (SPACE) from the UW NASA Space Grant Consortium
High School Places: GEARUP Leadership, Track and Field, Mr. East Valley, Renaissance Club
First-gen student?: Yes
Reach out to Osvaldo on Instagram: osvaldoarias80



Jennia Garduno
Hometown: Yakima, WA
High School: East Valley High School
College: Washington State University
Year in College: Sophomore
Major: Double Major in Accounting and Management Information System, with a minor in Psychology and Global Leadership Certificate
Dream job: FBI Auditor
Jennia’s Places: Carson College of Business Center, WSU CAMP (College Assistant Migrant Program), Carson College of Business Ambassadors, Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting Club), Compton Union Building, Chicanx/Latinx Multicultural Center
High School Places: Band, JROTC, Dance and Drill, Cheer, Volleyball, Mr. East Valley, Leadership, Class Representative, Sports Medicine Club
Are you a first-generation student?: Yes
Reach out to Jennia on Instagram - JENNIA411 or Email -



Brittany Delquadri
Hometown: Yakima, WA
High School: East Valley Highschool
College: Evergreen Beauty College
Year in College: Graduated
Major: Cosmetology
Occupation: Cosmetologist
Dream job: Making people feel beautiful and confident in their own skin. A big goal of mine is to go back to school and learn psychology to be a therapist one day for children.
Brittney’s Places:  I made my best friends in the lunch room, at sporting events, and passing time.
High School Places: I took advantage of all of the extra time I could get with teachers that I knew would give me the time of their day to help me focus on myself.
Reach out to Brittney on Instagram: Brittneyschair & Brittdelquadri



New York Times bestselling author Harlan Cohen talks with current and recent students about life in college.  For more videos visit BeforeCollegeTV on YouTube.  For more information about Harlan Cohen visit him online at: or follow him on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tik Tok | LinkedIn | Snapchat (helpmeharlan).

DISCLAIMER: All views expressed by panelists and participants are their own and are in no way endorsed, officially affiliated, or representative of the institution, Harlan Cohen, or BeforeCollegeTV.  All views expressed on panelists social media are not endorsed or affiliated with Harlan Cohen and BeforeCollegeTV.  Students views, opinions, and advice are their own. ALWAYS contact official representatives to verify and validate any information provided