| Press Releases


August 9, 2021


This past school year, with our largest graduating class, 87 Act Six scholars from underrepresented communities throughout Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota graduated from college, bringing the count of program graduates to 540. These scholars, hailing from Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Minneapolis–St. Paul, Yakima Valley, Chicago, and Indianapolis graduated from Augsburg University, Bethel University, George Fox University, Gonzaga University, Heritage University, North Central University, Northwest University, Pacific Lutheran University, Taylor University, University of Northwestern – St. Paul, Warner Pacific University, and Whitworth University. These alumni graduated together with records of distinguished leadership, service, and academic achievement.

The 87 newest Act Six alumni are listed below, along with their majors and high schools.

Augsburg University

Shamsa Ahmed, B.A. International Relations & Political Science (Tartan Senior High School)

Diallo Daye, B.A. Political Science (Robbinsdale Armstrong High School)

Jessica Mendoza, B.A. Sociology & English (Roseville Area High School)

Lay Lay Zan, B.A. International Relations (Como Park Senior High School)

Bethel University

Cassandra Dixon, B.A. Biology (Coon Rapids High School)

Isaiah Hobus, B.A. Biblical & Theological Studies (Maranatha Christian Academy)

TyTeeona Howard, B.A. International Relations & History & Political Science (Washburn Senior High School)

Meti Regassa, B.A. Community Health (Edina High School)

Elijah Rollerson, B.A. Psychology (Concordia Academy)

Kanee Yang, B.S. Biology (Central High School)

George Fox University

Pilialohakamaha’o Ahina, B.S.W. Social Work (Gresham High School)

Ajelet Fonseca, B.S.N. Nursing (Newberg Senior High School)

Victoria Fuentes, B.A. Interior Design (Tualatin High School)

Maria Gutierrez, B.A. Spanish (Woodburn Arts & Comm Academy)

Julio Lopez-Hernandez, B.S.N. Engineering (Roosevelt High School)

David Mishchenko, B.S. Engineering (Gresham High School)

Vanessa Palma-Aispuro, B.S.W. Social Work (Saint Mary’s Academy)

Gonzaga University

Patricia Alvaro, B.B.A. Business Administration (Central Valley High School)

Joan Marie Aoanan, B.S. Math & Computer Science (Raisbeck Aviation High School)

August Corppetts, B.A. Political Science (Gonzaga Preparatory School)

Malcolm Duncan, B.A. Communication Studies & Psychology (Bellarmine Preparatory School)

Ronnie Estoque, B.A. Communication Studies (Cleveland High School)

Melanie Francis, B.A. Political Science (Lewis & Clark High School)

Aleczander Tabish, B.B.A. Accounting (North Central High School)

Genesis Yanez, B.A. Psychology & Political Science (Highline High School)

Heritage University

Estefani Cruz, B.A. Psychology (Wapato Senior High School)

Samuel Cuevas, B.S.N. Nursing (Grandview High School)

Irwin Godinez Cruz, B.A. English (Toppenish High School)

Jesus Grajales, B.S.N. Nursing (White Swan High School)

Irene Jimenez, B.A. Mathematics (Toppenish High School)

Elena Maltos, B.A. History (West Valley High School)

Stephanie Maybee, B.A. Psychology (Selah High School)

Daniel Moreno Leon, B.A. Business Administration (Sunnyside Senior High School)

Monica Romero, B.A. Criminal Justice (Sunnyside Senior High School)

Yanet Torres, B.S. Biology (Zillah High School)

North Central University

Josue Boutouli, B.S. Business Administration (Eagan High School)

Gabrielle Knight, B.S. Marketing (Maranatha Christian Academy)

Alejandra Llerena, B.S. Elementary Education (Columbia Heights High School)

Edwin Quinon, B.S. Computer Science (Richfield Senior High School)

Lindsey Semrau, B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies (John F Kennedy Sr High School)

Nkau Xiong, B.S. Elementary Education (Washburn Senior High School)

Northwest University

Calysta Julianne Bauer, B.S. Biology (Home School)

Marco Estrada, B.A. General Ministries (Federal Way Senior High School)

Aimee Ingabire, B.A. Psychology (Kent-Meridian High School)

Jasmin Rodriguez, B.A. Communication Studies (Clover Park High School)

Kenisha Tabb, B.A. Psychology (Bethel High School)

Sophia Taylor, B.A. Psychology (Oliver M Hazen High School)

Grace Torres, B.A. General Ministries (Tacoma School of the Arts)

Pacific Lutheran University

Salma Ibrahim, B.S. Chemistry (Federal Way Senior High School)

Mackenzie Kinsella, B.S. Biology & Women’s & Gender Studies (Puyallup High School)

April Reyes, B.A. Social Work (Mount Rainier High School)

Taylor University

Nebojsa Arnautovic, B.S. Finance (Depaul College Prep)

Rachel Gray, B.S. Social Work (Warren Central High School)

David Hnanga, B.A. Music (Perry Meridian High School)

Daniel Magallanes, B.S. Accounting/Systems (Saint Joseph High School)

LaShae’ Mobley, B.A. Graphic Art (Christ King Jesuit Colg Prep)

Alejandra Reyes, B.A. Youth Ministry (J S Morton High School East)

Madeja Sims, B.A. Public Relations (Johnson College Prep)

Prisilla Sui, B.A. Politics & Public Service (Perry Meridian High School)

Aidden Tapia, B.S. Environmental Science (Chicago Hope Academy)

Emmanuel Terrell, B.A. Film & Media Production (Mount Carmel High School)

James Tluang, B.A. Psychology (Perry Meridian High School)

Yanira Trujillo, B.A. Film & Media Production (IES Schamann)

University of Northwestern – St Paul

Dana Bureac, B.S. Finance (Thomas Jefferson Senior High School)

Alicia Castro, B.S. Nursing (Maple Grove Senior High School)

John Erickson, B.S. Criminal Justice & Bible (Hope Academy)

Stephany Lopez, B.S. Politics, History and Economics & Youth-Emerging Adult Studies (Park Center IB World High School)

Thomas Lor, B.S. Elementary Education & Bible (Central High School)

Ruth Norman, B.A. Theatre & Bible (Hope Academy)

Pa Chia Thao, B.A. ESL Education & Bible (Highland Park Senior High School)

Warner Pacific University

Yaislenis Estrada, B.S. Nursing (Grant High School)

Madi Fagliano, B.S. Early Childhood/Elementary Education (Aloha High School)

Brianna Garcia, B.S. Criminal Justice (Forest Grove High School)

Yersalem Gebremedhin, B.S. Biological Sciences (Liberty High School)

Lashawn McCarthy, B.S. Social Sciences (Roosevelt High School)

Destiny Miteg, B.S. Nursing (McNary Senior High School)

Jose Ramirez Mendez, B.S. Health Science (Liberty High School)

Luis Saavedra, B.S. Business Administration (Newberg Senior High School)

Thien Tu, B.S. Communication Studies (Reynolds High School)

Whitworth University

Immanuel Abbo, B.S. Health Science (Joel E Ferris High School)

Jose Aguilera, B.A. Spanish & Health Science (Central Valley High School)

Maria Alvarez, B.B.A. Business Administration (Lakeside High School)

Lesley Baeza, B.A. Spanish & Health Science (Mount Rainier High School)

Andrews Boateng, B.S. Health Science (Decatur High School)

Ribenson Darcy, B.A. Psychology (Freeman High School)

Abranna Romero-Rocha, B.A. Political Science & Spanish (Lincoln High School)

Damian Sanchez, B.A. Political Science (Stadium High School)

About Act Six

Act Six seeks to develop urban leaders to be agents of transformation on campus and in their home communities. Since the program’s inception, over 1,100 ethnically diverse and mostly first-generation, low-income Act Six scholarship recipients from Tacoma, Seattle, Yakima and Spokane, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis-St Paul, Minn.; Chicago, Il.; and Indianapolis, Ind. have enrolled at seventeen private colleges and universities.

Act Six develops leaders through a simple, but powerful, four-step strategy:

  1. Recruit and select diverse, multicultural cadres of the most promising urban and community student leaders.
  2. 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.
  3. Send and fund the cadres together to select colleges across Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana on full-tuition, full-need scholarships.
  4. Support and inspire by providing strong campus support, ongoing leadership development and vocational connections to inspire scholars to serve their home communities.

Act Six alumni continue their leadership once they step foot into their communities. Eighty-one percent of Act Six scholars earn their bachelor’s degrees within six years, nearly double the rate for low-income, first-generation students nationwide. More than two-thirds of the program’s graduates are working or serving back in their home communities.

Scholars begin an intensive six-month training program that involves weekly meetings with Act Six staff, retreats and campus visits.

Learn more about Act Six online at www.actsix.org.


Marquise Dixon, chief program officer, Degrees of Change
(253) 343-0419 or marquise.dixon@degreesofchange.org

DJ Crisostomo, senior director of training + northwest partnerships, Degrees of Change
(253) 343-0417 or dj.crisostomo@degreesofchange.org

Alyson Atwater, Act Six Tacoma-Seattle team, Degrees of Change
(253) 300-5955 or alyson.atwater@degreesofchange.org

Gerdon Jones, Act Six Tacoma-Seattle team, Degrees of Change
(253) 372-2178 or gerdon.jones@degreesofchange.org

Tyler Monk, emerging leaders division, The Contingent
(503) 432-9577 or t.monk@thecontingent.org

Alexis Nicholson, Act Six Spokane program supervisor, YMCA of the Inland Northwest
(509) 720-5613 or anicholson@ymcainw.org

Amber Ortiz-Diaz, Yakima Valley site director, Yakima Valley Community Foundation
(509) 930-0474 or amberodf@yakimavalleycf.org  

Solomon Dixon, Act Six Chicago site director, Pursue Scholars
(850) 368-6861 or sdixon@pursuescholars.org

Cletis Jones, Act Six Indianapolis coordinator, Shepherd Community Center
(501) 804-1232 or cletisj@shepherdcommunity.org

Miriam Medina, Act Six program manager, Urban Ventures
(612) 545-9851 or MiriamMedina@urbanventures.org

*Important Act Six Update*Read the Press Release