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YUHSD seniors honored on ninth annual Ready Now Yuma billboards

Seniors from all six Yuma Union High School District schools will appear on billboards across Yuma County to promote the district’s Ready Now Yuma initiative. 

There are six billboards in total located near each YUHSD campus. Two students from each school are represented in the campaign. As part of the selection process, each student was required to write a brief personal essay and take part in a virtual interview. To read their stories, watch their interviews, and see photos of the billboards, please visit the 2023 RNY Billboard Showcase on the district’s official website. 

"When [Cibola High School Principal] Mr. [Derek] Bosch told me that I was nominated to be on the billboard, I got super excited and was really happy because I had just talked about it with my family,” Cibola senior Roman Vega said. “I am glad to have been chosen for this. My parents were the happiest ever. I come from a family of Mexican descent and I am the first from the family to come to a public school here in Yuma. Being given this honor makes me feel so happy. All my work finally paid off."

Principals, guidance counselors, teachers, and district administrators all played a role in recommending students for the billboards, which will run through most of the summer. Additionally, banners of each student will be displayed on their respective campuses for the 2023-24 school year. 

“The program was originally intended to raise awareness about the district’s Ready Now Yuma initiative; that every student will be career, college and community prepared when they graduate,” YUHSD Chief Communications Officer Eric Patten said. “Since the original billboard campaign in 2015, the idea of being featured as a representative of their school has become something students look forward to. Multiple students who we’ve talked to over the past couple of school years, have mentioned that being on the billboard was something they hoped for or considered. The billboards are such a great representation of the hard-working, outstanding students who attend our high schools. The campaign also highlights the far-reaching diversity of opportunity in Yuma Union High School District. Every one of our students has taken a unique path to get where they are today, and the billboards and entire showcase are a way to share their stories and represent that.” 

It is the ninth consecutive year students have been represented as part of the campaign, which began in 2015 as part of YUHSD’s partnership with the Helios Education Foundation.

The students featured in the 2023 campaign represent a wide-range of areas within the district, including AVID, Career & Technical Education, SkillsUSA, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), National Honors Society, drama, band, dance, athletics, YUHSD’s migrant student program, special education, Student Council, and many more. 

Both Lamar Outdoor Advertising and Del Outdoor/SignPro furnished the billboards and individual banners that will be displayed at schools in the fall. 
Ready Now Yuma is a unique, student-centered initiative of Yuma Union High School District and Helios Education Foundation. Its goals include graduating every YUHSD student prepared to succeed in college and career; embedding a high-expectations, college-going culture within the district; and increasing the number of students entering and succeeding in postsecondary education, including career and technical education, community college, and university,

2023 RNY Billboard Students:

Roman Vega, Cibola High School 
Yoselin Cardenas-Hernandez, Cibola High School
Jose De La Torre, Gila Ridge High School
Samantha Garcia, Gila Ridge High School
Luis Encinas, Kofa High School 
Desiraee Diaz, Kofa High School
Robert Angel Salgado, San Luis High School
Ashely Becerra Paez, San Luis High School
Julian Sanchez Gomez, Vista High School
Alexia Santiago, Vista High School
Sabian Russell, Yuma High School
Isabela Flores, Yuma High School

Billboard Locations:

Cibola: Westbound 32nd Street and Avenue B
Gila Ridge: Eastbound Interstate 8 near Avenue 4E
Kofa: Southbound 4th Avenue and 19th Street
San Luis: 23193 1st Street in San Luis, AZ
Vista: Eastbound 32nd Street near 8th Avenue
Yuma High: Westbound Interstate 8 near Pacific Avenue

Eric Patten