Valley Leadership’s Explore Program Goes to Yuma

April 13, 2022

Our newest program, Explore, visited Yuma last weekend as their first of five trips to different communities around our state. Yuma’s largest industry is agriculture, bringing in about $3.4 billion a year to the community. This was one of many areas along with education, water and immigration that the participants learned about during their trip.

Jen Gastelum, the Explore program developer, shared of her experience, “We were blown away by our trip to Yuma. We learned about the thriving agriculture industry, the community‚Äôs focus on education, and how larger issues in Arizona like immigration and water show up for the people living and working in Yuma. We had dinner with a local business owner at Prison Hill Brewery, explored the uniqueness of a binational economy in San Luis, and learned how the Yuma Art Center and State Historic Parks contribute to a rich cultural experience in this community. The trip was a nonstop consumption of information that will forever transform our perception of Yuma as a gas stop before San Diego to one of a complex community full of stories, opportunities, and people full of passion and love for their home.”

For more photos, please visit our Facebook album.

Special thanks to all of our community partners who made the trip such an incredible experience.

Lowell Perry Jr.Executive DirectorYuma Crossing National Heritage Area
Paul BrierleyYuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture
Meghan ScottWater attorney at Noble Law
Stephanie ParraED of ALL In Education
Dr. Daniel CorrPresident of Arizona Western College
Reetika DhawanVice President of Workforce Development and Career & Technical Education, AWC
Timothy BrienzaDeputy Superintendent
Julie EngelGreater Yuma Economic Council
Jim SchuesslerYuma Multiversity; Director of SBDC
Jamie SheldahlSuperintendent, Yuma Elementary School District 1
Jenny TorresSan Luis Economic Development Manager
Veronica SchorrArizona Community Foundation of Yuma
Chris WheelerOwner Prison Hill Restaurant
Ana PadillaYuma Art Center
Diana GomezDirector of Health Department
Antonio CarrilloAcademic Advisor & Professor of Spanish, AWC
Chief Richard JessupSan Luis Chief of Police
Jenifer L SumnerDirector of Allied health
Mario GuevaraED for Organismo Promotor de Desarollo Economico de San Luis Rio Colordado (OPRODE)
Nate DuserAWC LETA Coordinator
Lydia ArandaPresident Southern Arizona CPLC

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