Upper Columbia Academy and FoundationONE recently decided to raise $15 million to ensure Upper Columbia Academy’s long-term sustainability. This unprecedented three-year joint venture will enable UCA to achieve the highest level of educational excellence, enable UCA to update its aging facilities, and provide a long-term solution to the affordability issue through strong staffing.
UCA and its predecessor, Yakima Valley Academy, have provided adolescents with a remarkable opportunity for Christian growth for over 100 years.
“When I came to UCA, I was at a crossroads,” said one former student. “Adolescence is a critical time in a child’s life. There is something magical about seeking God with peers and being guided by teachers/mentors who have a wonderful image of God. This is truly life transforming!As long as this world goes on, UCA ministry to have to Carry on!”
Over the years, UCA has had its share of ups and downs. In 1980, the school was saddled with a huge debt. A council member recalls, “When I first joined the council, at every meeting we talked about how to close the school. But then Elder Jere Patzer, president of the council, made this suggestion: “Let’s take the first few minutes of every council meeting to read the book Education by Ellen G. White, and pray for our school. After that, things started to change. »
Since then, UCA has carefully adhered to the core values of Adventist education, and UCA’s ministry has flourished. Average enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year was 270. In addition to the highest quality academics, UCA offers several vocal, band, and string ensembles; basketball, volleyball and golf; horse riding; agriculture and gardening; culinary and pastry; building and automobile; a vibrant spiritual climate; and an enriching social culture.
Richard Hart, president of Loma Linda University Health and honorary chair of the Igniting the World campaign said, “The challenges facing our Adventist education system today are real and urgent. So I was thrilled to see the creativity of the Upper Columbia Academy leadership. Their on-campus programming emphasizes productive professional skills, under the strong spiritual foundation that has always distinguished UCA. We need this proven model of life-changing residential education, along with a strong endowment, to keep our school unique and sustainable. And now, the integration of FoundationONE’s successful fundraising combined with support from the Upper Columbia Conference has put a permanent solution within reach. I urge you to join Judy and me in making the ‘Igniting the World’ dream come true.
The Igniting the World campaign officially kicked off on July 1, 2021. To date, over $2.5 million has been raised. For more information about Igniting the World, visit ignitingtheworlduca.org or call Linda Klinger, Executive Director of FoundationONE, at 509-939-1716.