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Spotlight Rylei Franks

Rylei Franks

Rylei Franks: WVC Student and recipient of Cares Act Funding

Rylei Franks is currently pursuing a degree in nursing at Wenatchee Valley College, with hopes for a career in the medical field. But many in the area may know him for his music.

“I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with my music,” said Rylei. “I played for some food charity events and around the area in retirement homes and at the Pybus Farmers Market. I told myself when I started playing music at age 22 that if I didn’t make it by age 30, then I would decide to try something else and just turn music into a hobby.”

Rylei, who is from Grant County, said he was looking for a career that would allow him to settle down and have a family. After his first year in the nursing program at WVC, he said this might be it. 

“I didn’t know nursing was such a calling for me until I got into it and starting to work with patients, but it’s very rewarding and I seem to have a pretty good knack for the science end of it,” he said.

Rylei plans to get his bachelor in nursing at WVC. He said he has received a lot of financial support from the college, including scholarships from the WVC Foundation and emergency CARES Act funding in Spring 2020.

“With the onset of COVID-19, I lost all my income that comes with my music shows – it’s a hobby but during typical summers I am able to make enough money to live off of until the next spring,” he said. “It was heart wrenching, but because of the funding that came with the Cares Act, I am able to focus on keeping my grades up, focus on my future and how to create a different strategy of earning income.”

Rylei also works as a work study student in the WVC financial aid department. 

“I get to meet and help students who are just starting out,” he said. “When I first started college I was in the same boat that a lot of new students are in, where they don’t really know where to go or how to get help, but once you know the application process, it becomes like second nature.”

With an associate and bachelor’s degree from WVC, Rylei hopes to transfer to a university to earn his master’s degree.

“My end goal is to be a nurse practitioner of psychology,” he said. “I want to work with people who are in the jail system and help rehabilitate people who’ve been incarcerated. I want to help them get back out there and on their feet.”