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High School Equivalency Program

CWU Receives $20,000 One Voice for Higher Education Grant

The Central Washington University High School Equivalency Program (CWU-HEP/GED) program has been awarded a $20,000 One Voice for Higher Education grant by the Yakima Valley Community Foundation. The grant will be used to develop career and college readiness among HEP participants and their dependents.

“Our organization has more than 13 years of successful General Equivalency Diploma (GED) preparation of students in the Yakima valley,” stated Jerry Enriquez, CWU-HEP/GED program director. “The grant from the Yakima Valley Community Foundation will allow us to collaborate with the Central Washington University’s Career Center for Dependable Strengths.

“In addition, grant resources will allow us to train staff on Dependable Strengths career and counseling techniques, develop a career pathways extended course for students, and implement a student mentoring program also based on the Dependable Strengths model.”

The CWU-HEP/GED has been serving the Yakima area since 2001. Since then, more than 1,200 families have participated in the program. HEP is part of the university’s Office of Student Success led by the Dean of Student Success; Jesse Nelson, associate dean of Student Success; and Miriam Bocchetti, director, College Assistant Migrant Program. 

HEP helps migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their immediate family members earn a GED. The program also helps people get the education needed to qualify for careers they desire, to enroll in college, or to enter military service. HEP services are provided at no charge to qualified individuals. For more information about CWU-HEP/GED, go to or call 509-452-0639.

The Yakima Valley Community Foundation was established in 2004 and has assets close to $60 million. Yakima Valley Community Foundation is made up of more than 60 separate charitable funds, which have been established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. For more information about Yakima Valley Community Foundation, visit or call (509) 457-7616.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

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