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Creating Future Leaders–Act Six and Ready to Rise

A Partnership with Yakima Valley Community Foundation (YVCF) to train and inspire diverse leadership.

Program Highlights:

  • Funded by a $150,000 grant from YVCF
  • Over 80 students trained to-date
  • 88% college graduation rate

Three years ago, YVCF awarded a three-year $150,000 strategic grant to Act Six and Ready to Rise—two programs that support youth scholarship and leadership. At the heart of both the Act Six and Ready to Rise programs is the mission to build local, lifelong leaders representative of the diversity and talent of the Yakima Valley. 


Act Six is a leadership development and college scholarship program that brings together diverse cadres of emerging leaders. With sites across the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, the Yakima program began in 2010 and has trained 80 scholars to date. Following a rigorous recruitment and selection process, Act Six identifies 20-30 semi-finalists each year. Heritage University selects five to ten full, 4-year scholarships and Pacific Lutheran University awards five students with full-tuition scholarships. Act Six shepherds scholars throughout their college career, dramatically increasing student success and graduation rates.

The results speak for themselves:


  • 88% have graduated or are still enrolled at Heritage
  • 43% graduate within four years from Heritage
    • On average ver 40% higher than four-year graduation rates for all students at Heritage
  • 76% graduate within six years from Heritage
    • Nearly 2x the six-year graduatin rate for low-income students nationwide, and on average over 55% higher than six-year graduation rates for all students at Heritage


  • 47% earned or enrolled in post-graduate education compared to 25% nationwide
  • Within one year of college graduation, 79% are employed compared to 77% nationwide
  • 79% return to their home communities
  • 67% work for non-profits or in the public sector
  • 63% volunteer in their communities
  • 21% serve in leadership roles outside of their employment

Donate to Act Six


Ready to Rise was born in 2016 out of the success of Act Six. This leadership program focuses on high school seniors transitioning into college and beyond. With sites in Seattle-Tacoma, Vancouver, and Yakima, the program partners with colleges and is informed by extensive research to help students enroll in college, persist, graduate, and return home to lead and serve—at higher rates than their demographically similar peers at the same colleges and universities. Yakima’s Ready to Rise program partners with public institutions such as YVC and CWU.

Donate to Ready to Rise


The strategic grant from YVCF has offered the potential to add more college partners, afforded opportunities for professional development, and allowed staff to move from a single office to a larger more professional space that serves more students.

Most importantly, the strategic grant has strengthened the program by increasing staff’s ability to pursue recruitment, foster consistent partnerships with high schools, spend more time on campus, and ultimately, allow more students to reach new heights of success. In January 2020, the Act Six and Ready to Rise programs were adopted as initiatives of the YVCF, promising stability and continued growth.

The YVCF is proud to support these programs that align with our mission to invest in and improve our community.


111 University Parkway, Suite 102
Yakima, WA 98901


Phone: 509-457-7616
Fax: 509-457-7625
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