WVC Foundation announces 2024 WVC Distinguished Alumni Award recipient

DA Award WinnerRicardo Esobedo (left) receives the 2024 Distingished Alumni award from President Harrison
during the WVC Foundation's May annual celebration.

June 5, 2024

Media Contacts:  
Lupe Brito, WVC Foundation development director 509-682-6573 
Rachel Evey, WVC Foundation executive director, 509-682-6415

The Wenatchee Valley College Foundation Board of Directors has selected Ricardo Escobedo as the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. The foundation received nominations for 10 alumni from across North Central Washington.

“I am honored to receive this award and to be recognized for my work with certain communities,” Escobedo said. “It’s an opportunity to share the service I am passionate about and perhaps inspire others to bring action in some way.”

Escobedo, a 1999 graduate with an Associate in Technical Science, began his WVC journey after a season of crab fishing in the Bering Sea. Seeking a more balanced life, he found WVC’s flexible schedules and supportive environment to be the ideal setting for his academic and personal growth.

Currently, Escobedo serves as a Strategy Consultant and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at KIERI Consulting. His work involves teaching community resilience, providing psychological first aid, and supporting first responders in conflict zones. He also mentors students at UC Berkeley and co-founded the KIERI Healing Sanctuary, which focuses on ecotherapy and trauma healing.

Escobedo’s commitment to inclusive education, culturally responsive healthcare, and environmental justice is evident through his involvement with various local and state committees, including the CWU CAMP Advisory and the Wenatchee River Institute Board.

“I've known Ricardo since his high school days. His inner compass for social justice and resilience took him into higher education and the many experiences it offered him to serve individuals and communities," said Terri Butler, a friend who nominated him for the Distinguished Alumni Award. "His work with veterans with PTSD shows his depth of compassion and the deep commitment he has for healing and repairing individuals as a way to facilitate living a more whole life."

The WVC Distinguished Alumni Award began in 1975 to recognize alumni who have distinguished themselves in their chosen professional field; made significant contributions to their community on a local, state, national or international level; and have demonstrated integrity in their personal life and gained the respect of their peers. Recent recipients include Omak entrepreneur Dennis Carlton (2023), community volunteer Darrel Dickenson (2022), Eastmont educator Jaime Ramirez (2020), NCW Libraries executive director Barbara Walters (2019) and local entrepreneur Malachi Salcido (2018).


The WVC Foundation was incorporated in 1971. The foundation’s mission is to provide equitable access to education and invest in student success through philanthropy. For information on how to make a gift to the foundation, establish a scholarship or include the WVC Foundation in your estate plans, contact (509) 682-6410. Visit the WVC Foundation website at http://www.wvc.edu/foundation.

Wenatchee Valley College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in employment and student enrollment. All programs are free from discrimination and harassment against any person because of race, creed, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a service animal by a person with a disability, age, parental status or families with children, marital status, religion, genetic information, honorably discharged veteran or military status or any other prohibited basis per RCW 49.60.030, 040 and other federal and state laws and regulations, or participation in the complaint process. 

The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and Title IX compliance for both the Wenatchee and Omak campuses:

  • To report discrimination or harassment: Title IX Coordinator, Joe Eubanks, Mish ee twie, 1321A, (509) 682-6716, title9@wvc.edu.
  • To request disability accommodations: Student Access Manager, Wenatchi Hall 2131, (509) 682-6854, TTY/TTD: dial 711, sas@wvc.edu.