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Seventeen diverse student leaders will attend Whitworth, Gonzaga through full Act Six scholarships

February 3, 2012
On the same day that student-athletes across the country made headlines by signing letters of intent to secure college athletic scholarships, 63 students in five cities across the Northwest quietly gathered with their families to sign commitments for full scholarships of their own, including 17 students bound for Whitworth University and Gonzaga University, in Spokane. Selected through a rigorous three-month competition from among nearly 1,000 applicants, these diverse student leaders were chosen, not for their athletic prowess, but for their distinctive leadership, academic potential, and commitment to making a difference in their communities.

The Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative announced today that 63 emerging urban and community leaders across the Puget Sound region, Portland, Spokane and the Yakima Valley will receive full-tuition, full-need scholarships to Whitworth University, Gonzaga University, George Fox University, Pacific Lutheran University, Northwest University, Trinity Lutheran College, Warner Pacific College and Heritage University. Collectively, the awards will provide more than $8 million in financial aid over four years.

The newest Act Six scholars will be recognized in community celebrations in Spokane on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. at The Lincoln Center; in Portland on Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. at Life Change Christian Center; in Toppenish on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. at Heritage University; and in Tacoma on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. at Cleveland High School. The media and public are invited.

Launched in 2002 by the Northwest Leadership Foundation (NLF) in Tacoma, Act Six seeks to develop urban and community leaders to be agents of transformation on campus and in their home communities. Since the program’s inception, 37 cohorts of ethnically diverse and mostly first-generation, low-income Act Six scholars from urban Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, and the Yakima Valley have enrolled at eight Northwest colleges and universities.

Act Six develops leaders through a simple, but powerful, four-step strategy:
  • Recruit and select diverse, multicultural cadres of the Northwest's most promising emerging urban and community leaders.
  • Train and prepare these groups of students in the year prior to college, equipping them to support each other, succeed academically, and grow as service-minded leaders and agents of transformation.
  • Send and fund the teams together to select private, liberal arts colleges in the Northwest on four year, full-tuition, full-need scholarships.
  • Support and inspire by providing strong campus support and ongoing leadership development to nurture these young people as they find their vocation and grow into the next generation of community leaders.
To date, 90 percent of the 256 scholars who have started college have graduated or are still enrolled – reflecting graduation and retention rates that far exceed national averages. Two Act Six scholars have been elected as student-body presidents, and scholars have been involved in numerous other leadership roles on campus and in the community. Nearly 85 percent of Act Six alumni have returned to work and serve in their home communities, and 22 percent are pursuing or have earned graduate degrees.

"Act Six is a blessing. Not only do I have the opportunity to pursue a degree in higher education, but now I have the support and the resources to make my dreams come true," says Michaela Brown, a freshmen scholar with the second cadre of Act Six at Gonzaga University. "Act Six is so much greater than me, that at times it's hard to wrap my head around the vision, but all I know is that Act Six has changed my life and I can't wait to start giving back by living the mission."

Tim Herron, founder and national director of Act Six adds, "Our scholars are having a profound impact through their leadership on campus, and as they graduate we are seeing their impact back in their neighborhoods and around the nation. We are convinced that Act Six scholars will play an important role in shaping the future of our communities."

Esther Louie, assistant dean for intercultural student affairs at Whitworth, says, "Since launching Act Six in 2003, Whitworth's Act Six scholars are helping to further transform our campus with their leadership. We look forward to welcoming our Cadre Ten as we continue to engage our communities to bring forth the best young scholars."
Following is a list of this year’s Act Six recipients:

Whitworth University (Cadre Ten)
Cody Fox, Gonzaga Preparatory School
Cinthia Illan-Vazquez, Clover Park High School
Prakash Kafle, John R. Rogers High School
Wilo Muyoma, Franklin High School
Jessica Nguyen, Seattle Urban Academy
Elizabeth Porter, Bellarmine Preparatory School
Jeannette Potter, John R. Rogers High School
Lesly Sub Cuc, Joel E. Ferris High School
Quadelle Satterwhite, Lincoln High School

Gonzaga University (Cadre Four)
Robert Babs, Cleveland High School
Yusra Hamidani, Todd Beamer High School
Josiah Lara, Freeman High School
Michial Lim, Mount Tahoma High School
Rahmi Nemri, Central Valley High School
Alexis Nicholson, Medical Lake High School
Andrea Nolan, Northwest Christian High School
Olivia Smith, Cleveland High School

George Fox University (Cadre Six)
Joshua Cha, Benson, Benson Polytech High School
Janet Dan, Parkrose High School
Oscar Gomez, Newberg Senior High School
Asia Mayo, Roosevelt High School
Austin O'Neal, David Douglas High School
Jessica Rivera, David Douglas High School
Nancy Vazquez, Forest Grove High School

Pacific Lutheran University (Cadre Five)
Janet Dela Cruz, Lincoln High School
Kahmina Ford, Tacoma School of the Arts
Natasha Laitila, Henry Foss High School
Chinyere McKenzie Amadi-Ejim, Henry Foss High School
Amina Mussa, Shorecrest High School
Isaac Wani, Federal Way Senior High School
Miranda Winter, Mount Rainier High School

Northwest University (Cadre Four)
Rebecca Covarrubia, Foster High School
Xavien Davis, Curtis Senior High School
Stephen Garcia, Tacoma School of the Arts
Cambria Harris, Tacoma School of the Arts
Ella Kuchmiy, Thomas Jefferson High School
Shy Levitt, Harry S. Truman High School
Nikita Zhukovskiy, Life Christian Academy

Trinity Lutheran College (Cadre Three)
Najma Ali, Kent-Meridian High School
Bello Dondja, Foster High School
Tolby Nordenstrom, Clover Park High School
Misael Salmeron, Highline High School
Ali Shams, Washington High School

Warner Pacific College (Cadre Three)
Reggie Chipen, Madison High School
Arianna Cruz-Sellu, De La Salle North Catholic High School
Alejandra Garcia, Sam Barlow High School
Thalia Garcia Aguilar, Century High School
Robel Haile, Jefferson High School
Milo Lopez, Forest Grove High School
Justine Moore, Roosevelt High School
Jessie Osuna-Mondragon, De La Salle North Catholic High School
Ricardo Ruiz, Reynolds High School
Jordan Shellmire, U.S. Grant High School

Heritage University (Cadre Two)
Carolina Baca, Stanton Academy
Luis Cordero, Dwight D. Eisenhower High School
Isabel Cueva, Toppenish High School
Alex Diaz, A.C. Davis Senior High School
Jose Esquivel, East Valley High School
Theolinda Gleason, Yakama Nation Tribal School
Marcus Morales, Grandview High School
Javier Morin Jr., West Valley High School
Juan Valencia, Prosser Senior High School
Shannon Youngbear, Northern Cheyenne Tribal School

Following next week’s celebrations, scholars begin an intensive seven-month training program that involves weekly meetings with Act Six staff, retreats and campus visits.

Learn more about Act Six online at

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Tim Herron, Act Six founder and director, Northwest Leadership Foundation,
(253) 272-0771 ext.109 or

Oscar Harris, Act Six Spokane site director, Ready 2 Serve Ministries,
(509) 230-3686 or

Lawrence Burnley, assistant vice president for intercultural affairs, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4215 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or