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YUHSD honors seniors with eighth 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 the students’ respective campuses. 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 2022 RNY Billboard Showcase on the district’s official website. 

“During one of the drives to school [my freshman year], I saw one of those billboards,” Yuma High School senior Enrique Gutierrez Meza said. “It was two individuals and what really caught my attention was that it had the school logo in the middle. I made a comment to my grandma, ‘I don’t know how you get up there, but one day, I’m going to be up there.’ Sophomore year, I saw it again, and thought this is something they do every year, so maybe I do have shot. By my junior year, it became a serious thing, ‘I’m going to work my way up to the billboard.’ My senior year? I really pushed it. I made sure everyone at Yuma High knew I wanted it. That’s the best memory I want to have of Yuma High. When Mr. Fritz (YHS Principal Michael Fritz) told me, ‘You have been selected.’ I was freaking out. I was in shock. The first thing I did was call my grandma.”

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 2021-22 school year. 

“The program was originally intended to merely raise awareness about the district’s Ready Now Yuma initiative; that every student will be career, college and community ready upon graduation,” YUHSD Chief Communications Officer Eric Patten said. “Since the original conception of the billboard campaign, it has become something students look forward to and has advanced to really be representative 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 eighth 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 2022 campaign represent a wide-range of areas within the district, including AVID, Career & Technical Education, Future Farmers of America, National Honors Society, band, HOSA – Future Health Professionals, 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 on campus next school year.

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,

2022 RNY Billboard Students:

Matthew Davis, Cibola High School
Jayleen Anderson, Cibola High School
Eliu Zaragoza, Gila Ridge High School
Clarissa Magdaleno, Gila Ridge High School
Dylan De Guzman, Kofa High School
Ciara Kehl, Kofa High School
Octavio Terrazas De La Vega, San Luis High School
Danna Melendrez, San Luis High School
Edgar Ramirez, Vista High School
Desiray Suarez, Vista High School
Enrique Gutierrez Meza, Yuma High School
Nashely Vega-Rosales, Yuma High School

Billboard Locations:

Cibola High School: Westbound 32nd Street and Avenue B
Gila Ridge High School: Southbound Interstate 8 near Avenue 4E
Kofa High School: Westbound 32nd Street and Avenue 3E
San Luis High School: 23193 1st Street in San Luis, AZ
Vista High School: Eastbound 32nd Street near 8th Avenue
Yuma High School: Northbound 4th Avenue near 7th Street

 

Eric Patten
epatten@yumaunion.org