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Sixteen student leaders earn full Act Six scholarships to attend Whitworth, Gonzaga

February 6, 2014
Scholars among 59 diverse students from the Pacific Northwest to receive award

Whitworth and Gonzaga universities will welcome 16 new Act Six Scholars to the incoming class of 2018. The eight scholars entering Whitworth and eight entering Gonzaga are among 59 students from the Pacific Northwest to receive full college scholarships as members of the latest Act Six cohort.

Selected through a rigorous three-month competition from among more than 900 applicants, these diverse student leaders were selected for their distinctive leadership skills, academic potential, and commitment to making a difference in their communities.

The latest cohort of Act Six student leaders comes from Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Spokane and the Yakima Valley. Other Act Six students receiving full scholarships will attend George Fox University, Heritage University, Northwest University, Pacific Lutheran University, Trinity Lutheran College and Warner Pacific College. Collectively, the awards will provide more than $8 million in financial aid over four years.

The newest Act Six Scholars were recognized in community celebrations in Portland on Feb. 3 at Life Change Christian Center; in Toppenish on Feb. 4 at Hope for the Nations Foursquare Church; in Spokane on Feb. 5 at Rogers High School; and in Tacoma on Feb. 6. at Mount Tahoma High School.

Launched in 2002 by the Northwest Leadership Foundation in Tacoma, Act Six seeks to develop urban and community leaders to be agents of transformation on college campuses and in their home communities. Since the program’s inception, 53 cadres 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.

To date, 90 percent of the 434 scholars who have started college have graduated or are still enrolled – reflecting graduation and retention rates that far exceed national averages. Four Act Six Scholars have been elected as student-body presidents; scholars have also been involved in numerous other leadership roles on campus and in the community.

Nearly 85 percent of Act Six alumni have brought their degrees back home to serve and lead in Northwest communities, and more than a quarter are pursuing or have earned graduate degrees. Together, these connected and educated alumni are forming a fabric of leadership that is working to make their communities more vibrant and just.

"Act Six is a blessing,” says Michaela Brown, a senior scholar with the second cohort of Act Six at Gonzaga University. “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. 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."

Following are  the 2014 Act Six Scholars:

Whitworth University (Cadre Twelve)
Cyruz Campos, Joel E Ferris High School
Moses Chege, Stadium High School
Emmanuel Contreras, Washington High School
Joanne Fong, North Central High School
Clemence Kitambala, Joel E Ferris High School
Emily Martinez, Health Sciences Human Services High School
Shaleeya Mills, Lincoln High School
Julio Villareal, Lewis and Clark High School

Gonzaga University (Cadre Six)
Jordan Cotton, Thomas Jefferson High School
Keisha Hood, Gonzaga Preparatory School
Austin Johnson, North Central High School
Douglas Kempthorne, Gonzaga Preparatory School
Marina Rojas, Thomas Jefferson High School
Trang Tran, Lincoln High School
Lashantay Walls, Joel E Ferris High School
Jaden Zwick, Thomas Jefferson High School

Pacific Lutheran University (Cadre Seven)
Elexia Johnson, Harrison Preparatory School
Quenessa Long, Lakes High School
Jaazia Moran, Henry Foss High School
Antonio Sablan, Franklin Pierce High School
Tauivi-Raymond Taula, Mount Tahoma High School

Northwest University (Cadre Six)
Elizabeth Absten, Life Christian Academy
Petrice Bokako, Clover Park High School
Jessica Carey, Oliver M Hazen High School
Immanuel Gounder, Foster High School
Elijah Pinera, Cleveland High School
Lauren Thomas, Henry Foss High School
Brittany Villars, Cleveland High School

Trinity Lutheran College (Cadre Five)
Joshua Coleman, Thomas Jefferson High School
Ruby De La Cruz, Lincoln High School
Ciin Nuam, Foster High School
Mirsa Perez, Sammamish High School
Kellen Polit, Harrison Preparatory School

Warner Pacific College (Cadre Five)
Sameya Amme, Jefferson High School
Eldy Davila, Tigard Senior High School
Alicia Grovom, Gresham Union High School
Lloyd Jones, Madison High School
Hana Kent, Roosevelt High School
Francisco Moreno-Campos, De La Salle North Catholic High School
Raymond Ontiveros, Tigard Senior High School
Aaleyah Patterson, Tigard Senior High School
Daisy Ulloa, Tigard Senior High School
Sofia Velasquez, Woodburn Arts & Community Academy

Heritage University (Cadre Four)
Kayli Berk, Bickleton High School
Thalia Borja, Sunnyside Senior High School
Cassandra Garcia, Dwight D Eisenhower High School
Jeremy Garcia, Yakama Nation Tribal School
Atzimba Martinez, A C Davis Senior High School
Jesus Mendez, A C Davis Senior High School
Emiliano Orozco, Toppenish High School
José Ortiz-Garcia, A C Davis Senior High School
Irene Paz, West Valley High School

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Gonzaga University is a private Catholic, Jesuit and humanistic university providing education to more than 7,800. It is situated along the Spokane River near downtown Spokane, Wash.


Larry Burnley, assistant vice president for diversity and intercultural relations, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4215 or

Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Julie McCulloh, dean of admission, Gonzaga University, (509) 313-6591 or

Claire Silva, associate director of admission, Gonzaga University, (509) 313-6286 or