Student Helped by Scholarships is Destined to Change Lives

Smiling Janeli Sanchez portrait

Janeli Sanchez, a 21-year-old from Orondo, Washington, is passionate about helping people lead healthier lives.

After earning her associate’s degree from Wenatchee Valley College, she transferred to EWU. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work degree last spring. Now Janeli is back home in Orondo and preparing to take online classes to become a licensed mental health counselor.

“I’m just working and getting more experience in the field while saving up to pay for my master’s degree,” she says.

The oldest of three children raised by hardworking parents who immigrated from Michoacán de Ocampo in west-central Mexico, Janeli is the first in her family to earn a college degree.

“My parents were beyond proud. They made a lot of sacrifices coming to this country and working hard so I could go to school,” Janeli reflects.

Janeli, who receives plenty of love and encouragement from her folks, said the cost of college and associated internships was beyond reach for her family and credits generous donors with opening the door for her to pursue a degree. “I’m beyond thankful that programs like this exist,” she says.

Washington Apple Education Foundation, which provides funds to students raised in families with direct ties to Washington’s tree-fruit industry, helped with some of Janeli’s educational expenses.

A Krumble Foundation internship stipend made it possible for her to put aside part-time jobs on campus and accept an unpaid internship at Excelsior Wellness, a Spokane-based nonprofit.

Excelsior Wellness provides intensive wrap-around services for young people experiencing mental health and behavior challenges, and their families.

By prioritizing vital experience in her field over the need to earn money to cover living expenses, Janeli gained hands-on learning that directly ties in with her goal of becoming a counselor. In addition, the résumé-building internship helped her to gain employment as a case manager for a Wenatchee-based nonprofit right after graduation.

“I think that scholarship donors don’t always know the huge impact they have on the lives of students,” explains Janeli, who adds, “They truly make everything possible.”