| Press Releases


March 25, 2022


Families, schools, and communities are celebrating across the country. Act Six announced today that 117 emerging urban and community leaders across Tacoma-Seattle, Portland-Salem, Spokane, Yakima Valley, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, will receive scholarships to Corban University, George Fox University, Gonzaga University, Heritage University, Northwest University, Pacific Lutheran University, Saint Martin’s University, Whitworth University, Augsburg University, Bethany Lutheran College, Bethel University, Concordia College, North Central University, Taylor University, and University of Northwestern-St. Paul. The colleges will provide full-tuition, full-need scholarships over four years.

Selected through a rigorous three-month competition among more than 2,000 applicants, these diverse student leaders were selected for their commitment to serving on campus and at home, passion for learning, eagerness to foster intercultural relationships, and willingness to step out of their comfort zones.

Following is a list of this year’s Act Six recipients:

Corban University (Cadre Three)
Lizzy Loeung, Summit Learning Charter
Yareli Meraz Soto, South Salem Senior High School
Stan Ruchin, North Marion High School
Yuliya Tkachenko, Douglas Mckay High School
Tiana Williams, Cascade Christian High School

George Fox University (Cadre Sixteen)
Artemio Alvarado Avendano, Reynolds High School
Kiasia Baggenstos, Parkrose High School
Eilene Chan Mendez, David Douglas High School
Emir Gonzalez Martinez, Academy of International Studies at Woodburn
David Morales Sanchez, Tigard Senior High School
Julia Wah, Centennial High School
Warisso Wotcha, De La Salle North Catholic High School

Gonzaga University (Cadre Fourteen)
Sydney Abrahamson-Fernandez, Lakeside High School
Joyce Angi, Joel E Ferris High School
Mieri Kahsay, North Central High School
Parker Ritzmann, West Valley High School
Andrea Galvin, Woodrow Wilson High School
Malik Goodrum, Franklin Pierce High School
Shay’den Howell, Tacoma Science and Math Institute
Daija Tramble, Highline Big Picture High School

Heritage University (Cadre Twelve)
Charlie Alvarez, East Valley High School
Abbi Armenta Gil, Dwight D Eisenhower High School
Jazmin Corona, Grandview High School
Jorge Guzman, Wapato Senior High School
Adileny Mariscal, Toppenish High School
Maira Medellin Valencia, A C Davis Senior High School
Hinry Mendez, Toppenish High School
Savannah Morrow, Sunnyside Senior High School
Julissa Nunez Silva, Granger High School

Northwest University (Cadre Fourteen)
Monique Evans, Curtis Senior High School
Sinai Flores, North Thurston High School
Fernando Lopez-Mata, Clover Park High School
Hilcia Magallanes Diaz, Evergreen High School
Valerie Ndirangu, Franklin Pierce High School
Jessicah Ndungu, Clover Park High School
Isaac Randall, Life Christian Academy

Pacific Lutheran University (Cadre Fifteen)
Joseph Carter, Life Christian Academy
Lereena Kerley, Harrison Preparatory School
Jeremiah Lenard, Lincoln High School
Lance Maligaya, Rainier Beach High School
Jonathan Ochoa, Washington High School
Avigail Salazar Martinez, Franklin Pierce High School
Stella Schena-Gordon, Harrison Preparatory School
Elizabeth Cruz, A C Davis Senior High School
Olivia Gonzalez, A C Davis Senior High School
Diego Mares, Toppenish High School
Yailyn Salais, Sunnyside High School
Grace Sonnichsen, Prosser Senior High School

Saint Martin’s University (Cadre Four)
Charles Ganu, Woodrow Wilson High School
Erica Garrett, Washington High School
Dalila Guzman, Federal Way High School
Zarina Miller, Washington High School
Juana Montejo Gonzalez, Shelton High School
Godwin Nahamya, Kent-Meridian High School
Celine Paula Paez, Clover Park High School

Whitworth University (Cadre Twenty)
Annika Avina, John R Rogers High School
Sophea Christensen, University High School
Isaiah Lindsley, Freeman High School
Ephraim Watkins, Gonzaga Preparatory School
Kokneeka Houston, Summit Public Schools Olympus
Athaliah Soliga-Ioane, Washington High School
David Ssali, Clover Park High School
Guadalupe Zavala, Mount Tahoma High School

Augsburg University (Cadre Eight)
Melky Abdulwahab, Blaine High School
Elijah Enna, Robbinsdale Cooper High School
Ryan Escobar, Irondale Senior High School
Lee’RayVone Gibson, Brooklyn Center High School
Rahma Mohamed, Apple Valley High School
Egan Moua, Brooklyn Center High School
Romeo Sheen, John A Johnson High School

Bethany Lutheran College (Cadre Five)
Moudjibou Bolarinwa, Humboldt Senior High School
Larenz East, Edina High School
Peace Macha, Park Center Senior High School
Ruby Moya Velazquez, Holy Family Catholic High School
Caleb Myung, Eastview High School
Radanee Yang, Hmong College Preparatory Academy
Kamal Yusuf, Eden Prairie High School

Bethel University (Cadre Eight)
David Adetunji, Anoka High School
Peyton Baker, Blaine High School
Isabella Ballesteros, Minnehaha Academy
Caleb Climaco, Rogers High School
Hailey DuPrée, Roseville Area High School
Edidiong Etim, Washington Technical Magnet School
Patricia Evans, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School – Twin Cities
Pawlay Htoo, Roseville Area High School
Gracia Lumppio, Brooklyn Center High School
Zoe Vang, Chanhassen High School

Concordia College (Cadre Four)
Sabir Aden, Highland Park Senior High School
Crystal Analco Morales, Fridley High School
Malu Johnson, Anoka High School
Aliza Lee, Brooklyn Center High School
Paw Khee May, Roseville Area High School
Randy Romero, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School – Twin Cities

North Central University (Cadre Seven)
Tamu Abide, Highland Park Senior High School
Sophie Anderson, Lakeville North High School
Jasmine Lee, Brooklyn Center High School
Alliyah Lee, Community of Peace Academy
Chia Lor, Twin Cities Academy High School
Samdi Williams, Brooklyn Center High School

Taylor University (Cadre Seven)
Angelica Felix, Chicago High School for The Arts
Jo-Hanna Kraal, Timothy Christian High School
Dimitra Mayanja, Martin L King High School
Karielys Rivera, Prosser Vocational Academic Preparatory Center
Rae Brewer, Arsenal Technical High School
Jordan Clark, Lawrence North High School
Kyle Clemons, Ben Davis University High School
Van Kim, Perry Meridian High School
Winter Nottingham, Herron High School
Miguel Salcedo, Doxa Academy Home School
Mary Thar, Perry Meridian High School
Denzel Widjaja, Heritage Christian School

University of Northwestern-St. Paul (Cadre Eight)
Makiah Carlisle, Hope Academy
Yadri Columbie, John F Kennedy Senior High School
Mallory Jones, Anoka High School
McAlvin Juasemai, Fridley High School
Sebastian Luna, Roseville Area High School
Jayna Pittman, Wayzata High School
Valerie Xiong, Tartan Senior 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 1,200 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 graduates continue their leadership once they step foot into their communities. Eighty-two 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, Act Six national director, Degrees of Change
(253) 343-0419 or marquise.dixon@degreesofchange.org

DJ Crisostomo, Act Six Tacoma-Seattle team, Degrees of Change
(253) 343-0417 or dj.crisostomo@degreesofchange.org

Demetrius Rhodes, assistant director of scholar engagement, The Contingent

Adam Swensen, teen leadership program director, YMCA of the Inland Northwest
(509) 720-5612 or aswensen@ymcainw.org

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

Meagan Familara, Act Six Chicago coordinator, Pursue Scholars
(219) 775-4475 or mfamilara@pursuescholars.org

Renee Pitzulo, student ministry director, Shepherd Community Center
(317) 375-0203 ext. 208 or reneep@shepherdcommunity.org

Joshua Gillespie, Act Six program director, Urban Ventures

Melissa McGill, Act Six coordinator, Corban University
(503) 375-7010 or mmcgill@corban.edu

Lindsay Knox, vice president for enrollment and marketing, George Fox University
(503) 554-2242 or lknox@georgefox.edu

Julie McCulloh, associate provost of enrollment management, Gonzaga University
(509) 313-6591 or mcculloh@gu.gonzaga.edu

Gabriel Pinon, director of admissions, Heritage University
(509) 865-0420 ext. 2026 or pinon_g@heritage.org

Jorine Johnson, director of admissions, Northwest University
(425) 889-5368 or jorine.johnson@northwestu.edu

Natasha Lemke, assistant director of admissions, Pacific Lutheran University
(253) 535-7153 or natasha.lemke@plu.edu

Patty Lemon, dean of admissions & enrollment, Saint Martin’s University
(360) 688-2104 or plemon@stmartin.edu

Raul Sanchez, assistant director of admissions for diversity, equity & inclusion, Whitworth University
(509) 777-4729 or raulsanchez@whitworth.edu

Firi Dawid, assistant director of campus life, Augsburg University

Jeffrey Lemke, vice president of admissions and enrollment, Bethany Lutheran College
(507) 344-7373 or Jeffrey.lemke@blc.edu

Adam Hippe, lead admissions counselor, Bethel University
(651) 638-6941 or adam-hippe@bethel.edu

Samantha Axvig, director of admission operations, Concordia College
(218) 299-4562 or axvig@cord.edu

Joshua A. Edmonds, associate vice president of spiritual life/dean of multicultural engagement
North Central University
(612) 343-4786 or jaedmon@northcentral.edu

Andy Gammons, executive director of admissions, Taylor University
(765) 998-5565 or andy_gammons@taylor.edu

Hannah Anderson, assistant director of admissions – operations,
University of Northwestern-St. Paul
(651) 631-5135 or hmanderson2@unwsp.edu

*Important Act Six Update*Read the Press Release