Associate in Arts
Donelle Pitzer was born in Gainesville, Florida. The daughter of a naval officer, she moved with her family to several states during her childhood including Florida, Idaho, New Jersey, and Washington. In 1999 she earned her GED from Yakima Valley Community College. She then began taking college-level courses on a part-time basis. Taking a break from her studies due to personal and financial reasons, Donelle worked a variety of jobs before again returning to YVCC. After the birth of her second child in 2004, she decided to take a break from her education and focus on being a stay-at-home mother. Returning to YVCC when her children began school, Pitzer was determined to finally earn her degree.
A mother of two young daughters, Donelle has done a tremendous job of balancing her school work with the demands of being a wife and mother. Maintaining a 3.3 GPA, she has appeared several times on YVCC’s President’s List.
Pitzer has had many roles at the college. She worked at Easter Seals Jane’s House Early Learning Center, helped out in the gym during sporting events, and worked in the Speech Lab. In addition, she has been an ASYVCC officer and student ambassador. YVCC has not only provided Pitzer with the opportunity to further her education, but also to pursue her long-time interest in acting and drama. After participating in the 2003 Vagina Monologues she realized her passion for performing. “Performing on stage is fun. It provides the chance to be somebody you are not and to forget about the worries and stress of everyday life,” stated Pitzer. This past year she appeared in YVCC’s productions of Last Gasps and Tartuffe. She also served as the Drama Club’s Senate Representative.
“YVCC is not just my school; it has become a part of who I am,” stated Pitzer. “What I have learned on this campus was so much more than just academics and will be essential knowledge when living my story. I learned how to have faith in myself. I learned that I am capable of doing so much more than I used to give myself credit for. In fact, YVCC has given me the confidence to realize I can do whatever I set my mind to. This is something we all have the ability to do. The theme of your story depends on the choices you make. YVCC has not only helped me to realize my potential but has given me the tools to continue with my story and write my own ending,” she concluded.
“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Donelle is, a powerful, positive personality,” stated YVCC Speech Instructor Jim McCormick. “Doni is a force of nature. She is outgoing, engaging, and wants to help others. That is a rare and wonderful thing to experience in today’s world. When someone comes into the Speech Lab, Doni is there to greet them and ask how she can help with their presentation. Not content to work only in the lab, Doni also spreads the word with YVCC Clubs and other classes that might benefit from the preparation and practice in the Speech Lab. We are lucky to have had her here at YVCC and helping students,” he concluded.
She graduated from YVCC in June 2013 with an associate in arts degree. She plans to transfer to a four-year university. She is interested in studying hotel management and event planning while her husband pursues a degree in marine biology.
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