Meet the 2017 GSBA Scholars

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    Abby Leigh 2017
    L.Robb Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Denver, Law
    Abby Leigh grew up on Bainbridge Island and now lives in Denver. She attends the University of Denver and is working towards degrees in Socio-Legal Studies and Public Policy. Her goal is to become a human rights lawyer specializing in LGBTQ discrimination. She also hopes to work for a non-profit benefitting LGBTQ youth.
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    Adan Longoria 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    Walla Walla Community College, Nursing
    Adan Longoria Jr grew up in Quincy and is now living in Clarkston while attending Walla Walla Community College, pursuing a Bachelor in Nursing. Adan understands the discipline of nursing has a broad scope of practice and after completing nursing school he plan to work in an infectious disease clinic, which will allow him to help with the treatment and prevention of HIV.
     
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    Alejandro Graterol 2017
    David Barzilai Scholar, Second Year Returning Scholar
    Arizona State University, Sustainable Business
    Alejandro Graterol grew up in Issaquah and goes to school at Arizona State University where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business with an emphasis on sustainability. He hopes to get into the solar energy industry after college so that he can do his part towards making the earth habitable for future generations to come. Alejandro's long term goal is to save up enough money to open his own bed-and-breakfast.
     
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    Alessandro Lou 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    Seattle Central College, Physics/Computer Science
    Alessandro Lou is attending Seattle Central College and pursuing a degree in Physics and Computer Science with the intention to transfer to Seattle University or the University of Washington in Fall 2017. His desire to learn and pursue higher education stems from his deep seated need to help, guide and heal others.
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    Althea Poteet 2017
    Bellevue
    Glenn Johnson and Michael Melancon Bright Horizons Scholar, Third Year Returning Scholar
    University of Washington, Computer Science and Informatics 
    Althea Poteet is a sophomore at the University of Washington, hoping to pursue undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Informatics. Althea hopes that by combining Science and Social action she  can explore how technology can solve real world issues, and use those skills to improve lives by finding solutions to real world issues faced by the LGBTQ community.
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    Anne Bryson Doyle 2017
    Seattle
    Joan Huber Scholar, Third Year Returning Scholar
    University of Wasington, Interdisciplinary Visual Arts
    Anne Bryson-Doyle's work explores gender expressions. As the mother of 7 foster children, she is an advocate for the need for stability for children in crisis, winning the Stella Mae Carmichael Award in 2008 and joining the board of directors for Amara in 2011. Anne’s goal is to complete her MSW and work to change the foster care system to achieve permanence for every child.
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    B Taylor 2017
    First Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington, Psychology
    Ben Taylor is from Poulsbo and now attends the University of Washington, pursuing undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Arts. After accomplishing a PhD in psychology, he plans to use his experience in the arts to work with LGBTQ youth struggling with mental health issues, addiction, and homelessness. Other long-term goals include reestablishing a Seattle branch of the Trevor Project and going into the research field.
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    Brahiam Vilanueva 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    Gonzaga University, History and English
    Brahiam Villanueva grew up in Moses Lake, and is now living in Spokane where he attends Gonzaga University. He hopes to put his History and English double major to work as a fiction author, teacher, school principle and maybe someday as a professor. He hopes to inspire others through his books by exploring the concept of LGBT people's coming of age while balancing identity intersectionality.
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    Danisha Jefferson-Abye 2017
    Seattle
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    Seattle Central College, Biology
    Danisha began her career in social justice and activism in 1994. She has had a successful career in community organizing and public policy that has allowed her the opportunity to work on a wide range of issues impacting LGBTQ communities. She has also worked in health care as a Holistic Fertility Specialist, helping women who struggle to conceive in traditional methods. Danisha is currently in school to become a primary care physician for disenfranchised communities.
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    Deanna Mendenhall 2017
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    Fort Lewis College, Anthropology
    Deanna Mendenhall grew up in Portland, OR, and is now attending Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. She is majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Adventure Education and Gender and Women's Studies. She has a passionate love for education, and is hoping to incorporate feminist archaeology and the anthropology of gender into her future career.
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    Dustina Haase-Lanier 2017
    Vancouver
    GSBA Graduate Scholar
    Portland State University, Social Work
    Dustina Hasse-Lanier grew up and presently lives in Vancouver, WA. She attends Portland State University where she is pursuing a master's degree in Social Work. Social work is not just a profession it is her passion. As a survivor of domestic violence, skilled and committed social workers helped her regain her life and she is committed to doing the same for others through policy work and systemic change.
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    Eli Bala 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    Washington State University, Microbiology
    Eli grew up in Vancouver, WA and is now pursuing a degree in Molecular Biosciences from Washington State University in Pullman. He plans to continue his education with a certificate in medical laboratory technology. Eli wishes to bring positive LGBTQ representation to the STEM field in such a way that he can empower youth. Eli's long-term goal is to remain involved with the LGBTQ community, and to become a foster parent for at-risk youth.
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    Elmer Coria-Islas 2017
    Rich Thoelke Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    Pacific Lutheran University, Hispanic Studies, Education (K-8), French
    Elmer Coria-Islas came of age in Guerrero, Mexico and is now residing in Tacoma, attending Pacific Lutheran University, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Hispanic Studies, Elementary School Education, and a French Minor. He yearns to disseminate knowledge to LGBTQ youth in remote places around the globe. Elmer’s goal is to become an educator to benefit LGBTQ youth who often face difficulties receiving support.
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    Eren Dao 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    Bellevue College, Nursing
    Eren attends Bellevue College to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. He gained clinical experience in the Health Scholar program at Swedish Medical Center and currently volunteers in Urgent Care unit at Bellevue Group Health. His long term goal is to create a safe senior residence for LGBTQ elders where they feel welcome and are are able to continue to be who they truly are. Eren supports victims of sexual violence and has always tried to emphasize the appropriate care for those victims as well.
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    Ernesto Morfin Montes de Oca 2017
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    Duke University, Biology and Japanese
    Ernesto, a Seattle native, moved across the country when he decided to attend Duke University. He is currently deciding between majoring in Neuroscience and Biology but has recently decided to add on a major in Japanese. His long term career goals include attending medical school to eventually become a surgeon. Although his schedule is filled with lectures and labs, he still makes time for himself by singing in a choir and rock climbing with friends.
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    Forrest Allison-Brown 2017
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    King's College London, European Politics
    Forrest Allison-Brown was born and raised in Seattle. He now lives in London as an undergraduate student at King’s College London, where he is pursuing a degree in European Politics. Following graduation, he intends to pursue further education in the field of social policy. His goal is to lobby governments on behalf of an NGO committed to the advancement of gender and sexuality rights, or to do academic research advocating for its implementation.
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    Hannah Middlestead 2017
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    Rensselaer Polythechnic Institute, Biochemistry/Biophysics dual Mathematics
    Hannah Middlestead moved from Port Angeles all the way across the United States to Troy, NY to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is currently dual majoring in Biochemistry/Biophysics and Mathematics, with the long term goal of becoming an ethnopharmacologist to work with people all around the world in order to end conditions like AIDS.
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    Heni Barnes 2017
    Fourth Year Returning Scholar
    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geological Engineering
    Heni Barnes grew up in Coupeville and now attends school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She will earn her Bachelors degree in Geological Engineering and hopes to continue her education to earn a PhD in Planetary Geology. Heni aspires to have an impact on the space and science community, representing the LGBTQ community and people of color.
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    Isyss Honnen 2017
    Wells Fargo Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    Western Governors University, Accounting
    Isyss Honnen was raised in Pago Pago, American Samoa, until leaving for college in Hawaii at 17 years old. She moved to Washington for more opportunities and is now pursuing an undergraduate degree in Accounting with plans to become a licensed WA C.P.A. Isyss hopes to empower other Pacific Islander trans women in understanding and believing that life and happiness exists outside of the box we're forced into by society.
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    Johnny Buck 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    Northwest Indian College, Native Environmental Science
    Johnny Buck is an Indigenous father and ally. He is a junior in the Northwest Indian College Native Environmental Science program, with a long-term goal to obtain a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering focusing on hydrology research to address climate change with Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge integrated with engineering design. He is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ & Two Spirit-identified youth through the Native Youth Leadership Alliance and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Youth Committee.
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    Juan Serrano 2017
    C. Wight Reade Scholar, Third Year Returning Scholar
    Whatcom Community College, Business
    Juan Serrano is currently attending Whatcom Community College pursuing an undergrad transfer degree. Juan is a very passionate young man with ambition to determine his goals and dreams. He has currently restarted an LGBT club at his school that was much needed. Juan wants to make sure the LGBT community is represented and has a safe and supported environment. Eventually he hopes to have his own inclusive business.
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    Julia Weaver 2017
    Microsoft Scholar, Third Year Returning Scholar
    University of Washington, Human Centered Design and Engineering
    Julia Weaver was raised in Bremerton where they began volunteering with their local LGBTQ+ youth center. Since then Julia has been an activist in LGBTQ+ and disabled communities. They are pursuing a Human Centered Design and Engineering undergraduate degree at the University of Washington. They are devoted to creating spaces for disabled and LGBTQ+ individuals within tech and are passionate about broadening the horizons of tech to include people who have been historically disadvantaged.
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    Katherine Cavanaugh 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    University of Washington, Mathematics
    Katherine Cavanaugh is from Puyallup and now attends the University of Washington. Pursuing an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, she strives to see more representation for women and LGBTQ people in STEM. She has seen how powerful significant representation and mentorship can be, and sees it as her duty to return the favor to those who have inspired and mentored her by doing the same with future generations.
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    Keegan Samaniego 2017
    First Year GSBA Scholar
    Reed College, Political Science
    Keegan Samaniego has lived their whole life in Marysville. They are a dual enrollment student at Marysville Getchell High School and Everett Community College and have just been accepted to Reed College in Portland. Keegan will be pursuing a degree in Political Science. Their career goal is to become a civil rights lawyer and advocate for intersex youth to prevent intersex genital mutilation and work to create change and protection for gender diverse youth.
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    Kristi Maldonado 2017
    Richard C Rolfs Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    Washington State University, Data Analytics
    Kristi Maldonado grew up in Austin, TX and is now residing in Hoquiam. They are beginning their first quarter at Washington State University undergraduate degree with academic interest in Data Analytics. They hope to utilize this degree to continue to be a beacon of hope to their LGBTQ community and their allies. It is their hope to transform this community to one that has open and robust conversations around diversity that transcends differences.
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    Krys Campagna 2017
    Fourth Year Returning Scholar
    Bastyr University, Nutrition & Culinary Arts
    Krystal Campagna grew up in San Jose, CA. Krystal has been a resident of Washington going on 5 years, and is now attending Bastyr University to pursue her bachelors in Nutrition and Culinary arts. Upon pursuing her degree, she wishes to end malnutrition among LGBTQ homeless youth. One day in hopes for a better future, she intendeds to open her own homeless youth shelter.
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    Marlon Do Couto 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    Seattle University, International Business
    Marlon Do Couto lives in Seattle, but is originally from Goiânia, Brazil. He is majoring in Finance with a minor in Economics at Seattle University. Marlon is committed to creating awareness about accessibility in public places in order to create a more welcoming environment. He wants to follow a career as a financial analyst while at the same time working with LGBTQ immigrants to give them tools to be successful in the U.S.
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    Miki Cabell 2017
    GSBA Graduate Scholar
    Brandman University, Education
    Miki Cabell grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and is now living in Hoquiam and attending Brandman University, pursuing her Doctoral degree in Education with an emphasis on Transformational Leadership. She is hopes to be a change agent by inspiring all people to understand their strength and ability through education and outreach. With her goal of becoming a teacher and a transformational leader she hopes to alleviate the barriers, which her people face, both at home and within society.
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    Miriam Chappelka 2017
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    Mohamed Elias 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    University of Washington, Political Science and  Jewish Studies
    Mohammed Elias is an Iraqi-born US resident who lived in Baghdad until the age of 10 before escaping the war with his family. He lived in Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria, and Turkey before continuing his high school education in Kent. Experiencing hardships since childhood, have made him devoted to advocating for gay rights and other oppressed groups. He studies political science and Jewish studies aiming to work in the global humanitarian field to help the suppressed and bring communities together in peace.
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    Nick LaBerge 2017
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    Claremont McKenna College, Physics
    Nick LaBerge grew up in Tacoma and is now studying physics at Claremont McKenna College in southern California. He is not only excited about the prospect of discovering hidden truths about our universe but is also ready to be a role model for queer people in his career, as the LGBTQ community is underrepresented in STEM. Nick looks forward to contributing to and fostering a supportive queer community wherever his life journey takes him.
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    Nikki Bennington 2017
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    Macalester College, Biology/Chemistry
    Nikki Bennington is from Shelton and is about to enter their junior year at Macalester College atin St. Paul, MN. They are pursuing a Biology major and Chemistry minor with a Biochemistry emphasis. They hope to attend graduate or medical school and research illnesses or diseases that disproportionately affect LBGTQ individuals.
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    Olivia Barrell 2017
    Microsoft Scholar, Second Year Returning Scholar
    DigiPen Institute of Technology, Computer Science in Real Time Interactive Simulation
    Olivia Barrell is currently attending DigiPen Institute of Technology to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Real-Time Interactive Simulation. Olivia was instrumental in starting the Gay Straight Alliance at her high school, and has become a strong Native American voice in both student council and the various clubs supporting LGBTQ and allied people. Upon graduation she will improve a predominantly male industry by becoming a confident voice for equality and LGBTQ rights.
     
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    Oscar Arreguin Mendez 2017
    First Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington, Public Health 
    Oscar Arreguin Méndez grew up in Guanajuato, Mexico and Spokane and is now living in Seattle attending the University of Washington pursuing and undergraduate degree in Public Health. He hopes to work in community health providing education and resources to underrepresented communities, looking towards graduate school in the future.
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    Parisa Yekalamlari 2017
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    New York University, Politics  and Food Studies
    Parisa Yekalamlari is from Gig Harbor, and now lives in New York City, where she studies politics and food at New York University. Parisa is a peer educator at New York University's Queer Student Center. She plans on working on food policy after graduation, specifically food access to marginalized communities in urban areas.
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    Phillip Christian 2017
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    The Evergreen State College, Social Work 
    Phillip Christian grew up in Moses Lake and is now living in Olympia, attending The Evergreen State College, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Social Work. He plans to work as an academic adviser for first-generation college students, with the hopes of inspiring several young students to conquer their highest aspirations. Phillip has made an impact in the LGBTQ community by working with the Queer/Trans center at Evergreen to ensure that students feel safe.
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    Richard Parra 2017
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    Ryan Wagstaff 2017
    Chester Podlodowski Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington, Pre-Med
    Ryan Wagstaff was born in Georgetown, Guyana in South America. Currently he lives in Richland, WA where he attends running start at Washington State University Tri-Cities. He plans on become a medical doctor and plans to attend to University of Washington. Ryan hopes to give proper and accessible healthcare to LGBTQ+ youth. Volunteering with PFLAG has taught him the disparities many LGBTQ+ youth face even today.
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    Scout Osborne 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    Oregon State University, Bioengineering/biomedical engineering
    Currently an undergraduate at Oregon State University, Scout Osborne is studying bioengineering and biomedical engineering. They have advocated for diversity and LGBT rights since high school, where they founded a gay-straight alliance in rural La Center. Now they work with OSU’s Diversity and Cultural Engagement and volunteers with the nonprofit Out & About in an effort to spread resources to queer high school and college students and to change perceptions of queer people in science.
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    Spencer D'Avis 2017
    Founders Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    Washington State University, Digital Culture
    Spencer D'Avis was born in Bellevue and he is currently residing in Renton, with hopes of attending Washington State University to pursue graphic design. He is involved in student leadership, and is currently ASB president for his school. He also received his first graphic design job at the age of 15. His goal is to create designs that touch every human on earth and bring light to the fact that LGBT is thriving and creating the experiences we enjoy daily.
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    Veronica/V/Oscar Beltran Leyva 2017
    Third Year Returning Scholar
    Washington State University, Bachelors in Social Sciences and Communications
    Veronica completed an Associate's degree and Women's Studies certificate at Clark College where they have served as President of the Queer Penguins and Multicultural Students Club. They also worked there as a Peer Mentor in the Center of Diversity and Equity. Currently, they are attending WSUV where they are pursuing studies in Communications, Women's Studies, and Psychology in order to continue work with marginalized students on college campuses and in the community.
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    Victor Puoci 2017
    Theodore and Rosemarie Ockels Scholar, Second Year Returning Scholar
    Oregon State University, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Victor Puoci is from Bothell, WA and is currently attending Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, where he is pursuing an Honors undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with minors in Music Performance and Chemistry. He has made medicine and research his primary pursuits and hopes to help make the medical community a safer place for the LGBTQ community to have an active role, both as healthcare providers and as patients.
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    Zander McRae 2017
    Second Year Returning Scholar
    Boise State University, Education
    Alexzander McRae is a queer and trans-identifying male. He is from Edmonds and is currently lives in attends Boise State University pursuing two degrees. His prospective first degree is in education, and the other in the social sciences field. He hopes to educate and train people in various professions on queer issues and needs in order to make more spaces competent and accessible to the LGBTQ+ community.
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    Zane RapiƱan 2017
    Fourth Year Returning Scholar
    The Evergreen State College, Physics & Math
    Zane Rapiñan grew up in Seattle and is pursuing a Bachelors in Physics at The Evergreen State College in Olympia. They are a passionate scientist driven towards interdisciplinary study of scientific methods and application to the fight for more equality, access and representation for minorities in STEM fields. Zane identifies loudly as trans and non-binary, a first-generation mixed race queer who dreams of slowing planetary destruction and teaching physics in alternative education.
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    Zeena Rivera 2017
    Fourth Year Returning Scholar
    Seattle University, Psychology and Humanities for Leadership
    Zeena Rivera grew up in Des Moines, WA and now lives in Seattle attending Seattle University, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Humanities for Leadership. At Seattle University, she leads the Triangle Club and is a part of a curriculum reimagining committee for her college. She wants to go into research in order to study the neurological effects of discrimination and generational trauma. She will become a neuroscientist studying traumatic memory in QTPOC populations.