Soon-to-be conducted Sunnyside survey partnership between Heritage University and 'Transformation'

A partnership that will benefit both Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley and Heritage University's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) has recently been established.

That's according to Roberto Matus and Sarahi Bravo of Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley.

Matus said his organization has been evaluating how it might better benefit the community through asset based community development and other programs.

"The idea has always been there," he said.

The problem, said Matus, has been how to pool a large group of volunteers together for the purpose of getting the programs off the ground.

Bravo said that's how the SIFE students' help is instrumental.

The students benefit from real world experience for their future careers, she said.

Matus said, "SIFE will also gain more exposure, which is important when the students are fundraising for business-oriented competitions."

Professor Leonard Black is the director of SIFE and Matus said the professor has many years of corporate experience. Black also has a deep understanding of culture, especially the culture of many living in the Yakima Valley.

His expertise, said Matus, is invaluable in seeing programs Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley has wanted to establish become a reality.

"The SIFE students will serve in a leadership role," said Matus.

Bravo said the asset based community development program will be the first program in which the SIFE students will assist Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley.

"They will assist with a community survey on Saturday, April 28," she said.

On that day, said Matus, leadership students from Sunnyside High School will work with the SIFE students. There will be approximately 160 SHS students visiting neighborhoods throughout Sunnyside, asking citizens a few questions to address the community's needs.

"Asset based community development involves an assessment of the community's needs and its assets," said Matus.

Through the anonymous survey, Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley will be able to see if resources are already available to address some of the needs shared by community members.

Bravo said the survey will be conducted between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 28.

Once the survey is completed and the data evaluated, community organizations may access the information to assess whether or not needs in the community might be met.

For the survey, Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley is also asking for t-shirt donations so the SHS students might be easily identified when they visit local neighborhoods.

To assist with the effort, contact Bravo at 840-1529 or email her at


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