Megan Cuilla, Community Organizer
1-866-904-7721 x8653

Published: 05.18.11| Updated: 05.18.11

YAKIMA Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho (PPGWNI) is pleased to announce Community Health Educator Mike Palencia has been named Educator of the Year by the Association of Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education (APPLE).


APPLE was established in 1990 to provide a nationwide network for education managers to share ongoing support, assistance, and professional expertise.


For the past six years, Palencia has worked tirelessly to ensure youth in Yakima County have access to age-appropriate, medically-accurate information to help them avoid unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. In 2010, Palencia worked with over 2,600 youth from Central Washington. Palencia’s successes in education are most evident in Mabton, WA. Local sources reported a 58% decrease in teen pregnancy in the Mabton School District just two years after Mike started teaching there.


Palencia traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive the award at the Planned Parenthood National Conference in April. This national award is in recognition of Palencia’s efforts to teach youth about healthy relationships, comprehensive sexuality education, and teen pregnancy reduction. Palencia was chosen from a group of nine nominees across the country.


“It’s empowering to watch Mike work with youth,” said Amy Claussen, Vice President of Education and Professional Training of PPGWNI. “His lessons on healthy relationships are really awe-inspiring.”


Anna Franks, President and CEO of PPGWNI, added, “Mike exemplifies what a great sexual health educator is. He takes our mission of providing exceptional reproductive health care, honest education, and fearless advocacy for all to heart and truly deserves this award.”


PPGWNI provides education services throughout Central and Eastern Washington.


For more information, please contact Megan Cuilla at 1-866-904-7721 x 8653.


PPGWNI is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization with health centers located in Ellensburg, Kennewick, Pasco, Pullman, Spokane (2 locations), Spokane Valley, Sunnyside, Walla Walla, and Yakima  as well as an express health centers in Wapato. PPGWNI exists to provide exceptional reproductive and complementary health care services, honest education, and fearless advocacy for all. Call 1-866-904-7721 or visit for more information.

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