submitted by Yavapai College
Success can be achieved in many ways. It can be found through steady progression in a field of expertise; or built, by stamina and industry, through professional experience. But only a select few carve their own path to success, using their wits and heart to guide them.
Yavapai College named one such person — fitness and health expert Blayne Soriano — its 2022-23 Prescott Campus Alumni of the Year.
“I’m extremely grateful and honored,” Soriano said, at the College’s May awards ceremony. “Yavapai College was a starting point in furthering my education. It taught me more about self-discipline, dedication, learning life skills and showing up for myself. I currently run two businesses in this community, which give me the opportunity to give back to the people and places like this that have shaped who I am.”
A YC graduate who found success way off the beaten path; a fitness trainer whose clients range from 6 to 73 years old; a workout entrepreneur who found business success in the thick of a global pandemic, Soriano forged her own career path by working hard, having faith and following what she loves.
“If you’re true to yourself and lead by example, you don’t have to ‘sell’ anything,” she said.
A Prescott native and Bradshaw High graduate, Soriano graduated from YC in 2006 and transferred to Mesa State University in Colorado, (now Colorado/Mesa University). She earned degrees in visual arts administration and business, married and moved to Cancun, but saw no particular path.
“I started getting into fitness when I was 22 or 23. But I didn’t have a healthy relationship with it. I was falling into the ‘diet culture.’”
Her own studies revealed a deeper complexity to fitness — it required a regimen of exercise, nutrition and a holistic, lifestyle-based approach. When her mother took ill, Soriano returned to Prescott to care for her. Her death hit Soriano hard, but “it also taught me life is so short. I’d better do what I need to do.”
She started over in Prescott. Work as a CrossFit coach led to instruction in her garage; a desire to demonstrate healthy cooking inspired her to create her own startup, making and delivering prepackaged meals from her home.
Today, she owns her own gym, and her meal-prep business employs its own chef and is moving online.