Sara Ortiz

Get started by attending an info session


WEDNESDAYS, 4:00-5:00 pm, Room CC1-250

Mar. 25; Apr. 1, 15, 22, 29 - No reservations necessary


Running Start Applicants:  Info Sessions are the second Wednesday of the month.




    My Superpower: Succeeding with Science

    I’ve always loved science. It kept me going through those tough high school years at Inglemoor, even when I wanted to rebel. Chemistry never fully clicked for me until Cascadia. Dr. David Reichgott was the first teacher I had that was able to help me process the information. He kept the standards high, but made science accessible. 

    I became pregnant early on in my college education and struggled with how well I could handle the challenge. The faculty at Cascadia didn’t let me give up. In fact, they encouraged me to explore a variety of challenging classes, and I was able to excel above the circumstances and graduate.

    I found my way to the University of Washington Seattle where I received my Bachelors of Science in General Biology, and then went on to earn my Masters in Teaching. Now, as a high school teacher, I get to share my passion for science with other students who may have struggled, had challenges, or needed extra support, like I did. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I can look back and see that Cascadia was guiding me towards the very career that was made for me.




    My Superpower:  The Will to Succeed

    I graduated from Bothell High School and decided to wait a bit before going to college. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to study. Eventually, with the help of a neighbor, I realized that Cascadia presented a wonderful opportunity to figure out what interested me.

    So, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and enrolled for a variety of different classes. I was surprised by my abilities in subjects, like math and science, which I had forever sworn off.

    I learned that a formal education can teach you many things about yourself, about others, and about the world at large. Thanks to one of my instructors, Chris Gildow, and experiences like a field trip to the Seattle Art Museum where we spent the afternoon sketching paintings, I became passionate about art. I’d love to have a career where I can use art as therapy.

    It took me five years to earn my associate degree and graduate from Cascadia as class valedictorian. But now I know that passion coupled with the will to succeed can get me anywhere. I’m off to UW Bothell to major in Culture, Literature, and the Arts



    My Superpower:  Fixing Stuff

    I completed my high school degree online while competing on the national motocross circuit. That’s how I learned to rebuild pumps, motors, and all kinds of mechanical equipment.

    I started out at another community college studying mechanical engineering and chemistry then switched to Cascadia to earn an AAS degree in Environmental Technologies and Sustainable Practices with an emphasis in water quality. This was my ticket to a career as a wastewater treatment operator.

    My instructors and advisors at Cascadia bent over backward to help me. To fulfill a degree requirement, I got an internship in a Federal Way water treatment plant. I’m graduating this year and already accepted a job as an operator for the City of Lynnwood.

    The salaries are great, there’s lots of upward movement, and there are plenty of job openings. It’s the perfect combination of science and mechanics. I get to spend my time wrenching on stuff.



    My Superpower:  Cultural Curiosity

    I moved from Pasco, Washington to attend college at Cascadia.

    I enrolled in a global studies class taught by Jesus Perez, where I made a connection between my personal background and an academic subject.

    I got interested in psychology while writing a paper about Cortez’s conquest over the Aztecs; it made me think about what causes people to do what they do without feeling remorse.

    After Cascadia, I plan to transfer to a four-year program to earn a BA degree in psychology and then go into social work.



    My Superpower:  Leadership Skills

    I managed a full course load while serving two terms as student government president at Cascadia

    I organized a book drive for school children in Ethiopia then traveled to rural Ethiopia to visit a school where the books were being used.

    After earning my associate degree in business at Cascadia, I transferred to UW Bothell and was elected student body president.

    I plan to graduate with a BA in business and run for political office.



    My Superpower:  Predicting the Weather

    I forecasted I'd study electrical engineering but then I enrolled at Cascadia and was blown away by John VanLeer’s class, The Science of Weather, where I learned to make weather charts

    I earned my AA degree at Cascadia and my BA at Seattle University.

    Now I'm working as a weather forecaster in Anchorage.



    My Superpower:  Helping People

    I investigated human systems under the microscope in a Cascadia biology class

    Earned an AA degree in integrated studies at Cascadia

    Transferred to UW where I’m majoring in biology

    Now I’m on track to becoming a physician assistant