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2015 Scholarship Recipients
Deanna East 2015
Deanna attends the Evergreen State College and is working toward a Bachelor’s in Public Administration. Her passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of young people. She is founder/director for three programs helping homeless/low income youth. Her goal is to continue to help young people overcome the barriers placed in front of them and give them the skills to not only graduate, but to be successful in life as well.
Mick Wiegenstein 2015
Mick is attending Portland State University and pursuing undergraduate degrees in German and Architecture with the goal of attending a graduate program in historic preservation. His goal is to restore and preserve architectural manifestations of our cultural heritage with the aim of inspiring future generations to do the same.
Parisa Yekalamlari 2015
Parisa is attending New York University. She is currently undecided, but leaning towards an undergraduate concentration that combines politics and nutrition. In the past, Parisa worked extensively for reproductive justice. She currently works primarily with LGBTQ and low-income communities. Her advocacy has inspired a strong passion toward ending the inaccessibility of healthy foods within marginalized communities. Parisa plans to become a community organizer dedicated to eradicating food deserts.
Zeena Rivera 2015
Zeena is a first-year Humanities for Leadership student at Seattle University. She was the founder and editor-in-chief of Be! Magazine. She is now on Hall Council and is also is involved in Campus Ministry as one of the leaders for Gender and Sexuality Programming, where she planned Transgender Day of Remembrance. Academically, she is driven and wants to become a professor to study the psychology of sexuality and gender.
Ruben Zecena 2015
San Salvador, El Salvador
Ruben is a queer activist at Washington State University where they study English Teaching, Women Studies, and Queer Studies. They are a Social Justice Peer Educator for WSU’s Equity & Diversity Department. In this position, they create workshops and facilitate discussions about social justice issues with the purpose shifting conservative climates of Eastern Washington. They hope to become a high school English teacher and incorporate queer methodologies in their pedagogy.
Rigoberto Garcia 2015
Valle de Banderas, Mexico
Rigoberto is currently pursuing a degree in accounting at Seattle University and wishes to serve as a positive role mode. He volunteers at the Rainbow Center in Tacoma, Washington where he founded El Batallón Unido, an educational group that informs the LGBTQ Latino/a community about available resources. As a first-generation student and a gay male, Rigoberto Garcia’s passion lies in advocating for the LGBTQ community hoping to empower them to reach their highest potential.
Mick Arieta 2015
New York, NY
Mick is a graduating senior at the Evergreen State College, concentrating in public policy and sustainability. He is pursuing a graduate degree in urban planning. His career interest in advocacy and policy work began with his gender transition and experiences as a New York City activist. Mick is dedicated to promoting sustainable and equitable urban development to improve the lives of LGBTQ communities.
Melissa Ebben 2015
After obtaining her Associates Degree in Nursing at Everett Community College, Melissa became the first Forensic Nurse Examiner hired by Providence Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse as a new graduate. Her volunteerism, intelligence and community support made this possible. In September, she will graduate from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. She will continue in a Family Nurse Practitioner program to increase her ability to care for vulnerable populations.
Mara Rae 2015
Mara is attending the University of Washington Tacoma, and is also working directly through the university's Office for Equity and Diversity to ignite structural changes that center around issues of equity and accessibility, building upon almost a decade of ongoing service and involvement in her local community. Currently focused in the Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies undergraduate program, she is passionate about working
toward transformative institutional and social change.
Maksym Dedushko 2015
Maksym came to the U.S. at the age of 16 as an exchange student. Fearing human rights abuse of LGBT community and mandatory military conscription in Ukraine, Maksym filed for and received asylum in the U.S. Recently, Maksym has become a naturalized U.S. citizen. He's currently pursuing a PhD in Biological and Inorganic Chemistry. His goal is to do fundamental research with applications to cancer, infections diseases like HIV, and sustainable industrial chemical production.
Landyn Pan 2015
Landyn attends Chapman University studying Public Relations & Advertising. Landyn is the development director and graphic designer for Trans Student Educational Resources, an organization that fights for trans justice in education, and creative/campaign committee head at Multicultural Enterprise, a Chapman club that aims to solve diversity issues on campus. His goal is to land a career in the entertainment industry and help bring more accurate minority representations to mainstream media.
Krystal Campagna 2015
San Jose, CA
Krystal is attending Bastyr University and pursuing an undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Culinary Arts. She is an advocate for homeless youth and LGBTQ rights and, in the future, Krystal hopes to open her own non-profit organization geared toward helping homeless youth in the queer community. According to Krystal, even by helping one youth at a time can make all the difference in the world.
Jazmine Perez 2015
Jazmine is studying Physiology and Gender, Women, Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. As the Program Coordinator for SARVA (Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists), she hopes to create a culture at UW that does not tolerate power-based violence. Her goal is to become a Psychiatrist, focusing on sexual assault trauma and understands there are a disproportionate number of LGBTQ and people of color who experience this type of violence.
Jake Funkhouser 2015
Jake attends Central Washington University, double majoring in Primate Behavior and Psychology. Facing rejection after coming out, Jake worked hard to graduate high school as valedictorian and maintains a near-perfect GPA at college. He continues to give back to the community, teaching youth the importance of being true to one’s self. Jake plans to pursue graduate school and to make a difference in both the animal and human worlds.
Heni Barnes 2015
Heni is attending the University of Alaska and will earn an undergraduate degree in Geological Engineering. She is working towards a career as a Planetary Geological Engineer for NASA or a private space company. She helped create a GSA in high school and continues to work within the LGBT community at college involved in both the GSA and with PFLAG. She is excited to represent LGBT women of color in the field of Engineering.
Harley Tonelli 2015
Harley is a Seattle native currently studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Majoring in Music Business & Management, Harley hopes to use this training as a tool to expand visibility and facilitate the success of LGBTQ+ and other marginalized artists in the music industry. Harley currently serves as a Peer Advisor for incoming students, and is the Communications Director for the Berklee Internet Radio Network.
Colby Rezayat 2015
Colby is seeking his Master’s in Social Work at the University of Washington. He has spent that last three years as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. He also works as a clinical intern with Compass Health in Mount Vernon. He hopes to combine his passions for mental health, the LGBTQ communities and anti-violence work.
Chantelle Korver 2015
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Chantelle is working on a Bachelor/Master degree in Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine at Bastyr University. They will follow this with a Doctorate of Naturopathic medicine, and eventually open an integrated clinic with their life partner. They wish to create an open and welcoming environment, where people of any identity can seek healing without prejudice and without judgment. Chantelle is committed to ensuring medical access to homeless youth, forty percent of which are LGBTQ.
Ash Peers 2015
Ash is a sophomore at Western Washington University pursuing a degree in Psychology with a minor in Queer Studies. She has a strong sense of civic duty and hopes to utilize her education and experience to help those who are often ignored, misunderstood and underserved. Ash hopes to work to connect medical resources to those who desire them in so that people may live authentically and comfortably in their own skin.
Angela Tang 2015
Angela is a student at Whitman College studying Economics. An advocate for equality for communities of color and LGBTQ communities, she hopes to instigate change through implementing social justice programming at Whitman as Co-President of GLBTQ, Chairperson of the Power & Privilege Symposium, and Resident Assistant of the Asian Studies House. Her long term goal is to achieve economic equity through public policy or leadership in corporate business.
Aiysha Garcia 2015
Aiysha is currently attending Raymond High School. She comes from a low-income household and from a Christian-based religion. She has struggled with her sexuality but now is sure in who she is. She is ready to take on the world and be who she wants to be. Aiysha is a strong leader and a hard-working athlete. Her struggles are in the past and now she's ready!
Rafael Padilla 2015
Rafael is attending the University of Washington and working toward a degree in Nursing. Through medicine he hopes to expand quality medicinal care to underrepresented minority and LGBTQ communities who would otherwise have financial or other impassable obstacles. By pursuing a career as a Nurse Practitioner he also hopes to open his own clinic which directly addresses the conditions that either exclusively or more commonly affect LGBTQ and other underrepresented communities.
Phillip Christian 2015
Phillip is a high school senior on track to simultaneously graduate with his diploma and Associate’s Degree through the Running Start program. He is bisexual and wants to show his pride for the LGBTQ community wherever he goes. His goal is to attend into the University of Washington to pursue a Master’s in Social Work. He plans to become an active member of the GSA on campus.
Laura Yanez Alvarez 2015
Laura came from Colombia to the U.S six years ago with her family and is currently pursuing an Associate’s degree in Human Services at Highline College. She is an advocate for immigrants, Adult Basic Education (ABE) students, English as Second Language (ESL) students, LGBTQ community and those whose voices are oppressed. Laura wants to become a college Dean for Student Programs and a national keynote speaker to inspire and impact college students’ lives.
Julia Weaver 2015
Julia is a 17-year old who is completing their last year of high school. As part of the Running Start program, they will be graduating with their diploma and an Associate of Arts degree. They plan on going to college and obtaining a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering. They have been a long time youth leadership council member at their local LGBTQ+ nonprofit youth organization and a volunteer of planned parenthood.
Sherry Sternhagen 2015
Sherry is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Social Work at the University of Washington. Through feminist, anti-racist, queer identified activism, Sherry is dedicated to the struggle to end oppression and promote social justice. Some long term goals include providing sexual education to LGBTQ teens, offering doula birth support to women in low resource communities, and teaching media literacy. Sherry plans to pursue an MSW and a PhD in Gender Studies.
Juan Serrano 2015
Juan is a senior in high school. He is in numerous school clubs, including as student government officer. He is also involved in three very different sports: cheer, wrestling and tennis. Being able to be involved in some many clubs as a gay teen, Juan says that he wants to become a counselor to inspire young teens both inside and outside of their schools.
Zane Rapiñan 2015
Zane self-identifies as genderqueer, a radical activist, and a polymath. They are receiving an AS degree from Seattle Central College, where they serve as president of the Queer Straight Alliance, and plan to transfer to the University of Washington to pursue an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. Zane has shown over a decade of commitment to social justice, and hopes to continue participation in anti-oppression work, grassroots networking and personal development.
Althea Poteet 2015
Althea is a senior at Interlake High School. She will be graduating in June, and will also be receiving an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree from Bellevue College through the Running Start program. A queer youth leader in her LGBTQ community, Althea hopes to pursue an undergraduate degree in neuroscience in the fall.
Alik Brundrett 2015
Alik is attending the Art Institute of Seattle and is in his final year of the BFA Web/Graphic Design program. He works as a Digital Media Designer for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest in Seattle, and is on the Board of Advocates for the non-profit group Seattle Subway. Alik uses his design and digital media skills to raise awareness of GLBT healthcare & advocacy groups in the Northwest.
Ernesto Morfin Montes de Oca 2015
Ernesto loves to take the hardest classes in his school. He has been nominated as a presidential scholar and has won or placed in a diverse range of competitive events such as running, pole vault, swimming, diving, and speech and debate. As a student government leader and an advocate for the LGBTQ community, students look up to him and ask him for advice or help with their problems. He plans to pursue a degree in Chemistry.
Hannah Middlestead 2015
Hannah is applying to several top universities, and plans to double major in Chemistry and Botany. She is going to become an ethnopharmacologist after she gets her PhD. In this field, she will be developing medicine from plants to cure diseases that affect everyone, such as HIV. She is especially motivated in this field, having had a close relative who was member of the LGBT community die of AIDS.
Deanna Mendenhall 2015
Deanna is currently attending North Seattle Community College pursuing her AA in order to transfer to a four year university. After a five year break in traditional schooling, she is incredibly excited to be back into the world of academia. She has served two years of national service with AmeriCorps and has worked extensively with at-risk youth. She is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ rights. She loves nature and leaving her comfort zone.
Nick LaBerge 2015
Nick is a high school senior at the Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma. He is the senior class president and Cross-Country and Track Captain. He founded the "Everything is Awesome Club" dedicated to the school's LGBTQ students. Nick has committed to Claremont McKenna College in California for his undergraduate education, where he intends to pursue his interests in Science, Ceramic Art, and Economics.
Danisha Christian 2015
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.
Mitchell Chen 2015
Mitchell is currently attending the University of Washington and is pursuing undergraduate degrees in Microbiology and Biochemistry and minoring in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. He has found a lifelong passion in serving the LGBTQ community, especially in emphasizing an intersectional approach to advocacy, education, and community building. Mitchell's long-term goals include becoming a family doctor to remove gatekeeping and obstacles to good health in the LGBTQ community.
Audrey Chavarria Calderon 2015
Audrey studies Computer Science at the University of Washington–Tacoma. Audrey and his family moved to Washington from Alabama because of a rising wave of anti-immigrant laws and hostility against members of the LGBTQ community. He is a leader of the Latino LGBTQ group El Batallón Unido at the Rainbow Center in Tacoma. He also works to motivate Latinos and minorities to attend college and study Computer Science.
Michael Carrillo 2015
Mike is a Latino trans* male attending the Science and Math Institute. He advocates for LGBTQ rights and immigration laws in his community. One day he wants to become a teacher to inspire students to advocate for their rights. He has interned at different middle schools in Tacoma as well as the Rainbow Center to educate himself about the LGBTQ community and what it takes to become a teacher.
Lindsey Kirkham 2015
Lindsey Kirkham is a third year student at the University of Washington pursuing a dual degree in public health and sociology. Her social activism focuses on HIV, sexual violence, LGBTQ issues, feminism and intersectionality. She is the founder of the Bi Women Support Network, the first resource to support bi women rape survivors. After graduation, she hopes to join the Peace Corps and pursue a Master's degree in public health.
Eric King 2015
Eric is currently a junior at the University of Washington in the School of Public Health. Throughout the past two years Eric has gained research experience in the Department of Neurological Surgery focusing on glioblastoma. At a young age Eric experienced several health disparities, and thought his public health education he plans to advocate for increased health access for marginalized populations in the battle against the health inequality crisis.
Lane Kaiser 2015
Lane is currently working towards his Bachelor’s at Portland State University's School of Social Work. As a transgender man from a military town, Lane understands all too well the hardships that LGBT youth experience. Like many trans youth, he has overcome financial hardship, harassment, and discrimination. After completing his degree, Lane will work on an accredited level to continue his current work helping marginalized youth access systems and obtain social justice.
Katy Imbrone 2015
St. Paul, MN
Katy is a 27-year old returning student and mathematics tutor studying mathematics and education at the Evergreen State College. She is passionate about education and working class reform and empowerment, with the goal of deconstructing the systematic tracking-out of students from technical fields and mathematics. Katy is pursuing a dual BA/BS with a focus in Applied Mathematics and Pedagogy, with plans to become a middle or high school mathematics teacher.
Kelly Hill 2015
Kelly attends Antioch University while working toward her Master's degree in clinical mental health counseling. She is an advocate and activist within the HIV, LGBTQ and disability communities. Since 2005 she has been providing peer support to other women living with HIV. She believes in approaching her work through a lens of social justice and she plans on providing mental health services to underserved and marginalized populations.
Dustina Haase-Lanier 2015
Dustina is attending Washington State University – Vancouver, pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology and women's studies, with the ultimate goal of a Master's and doctorate in Social Work. A long time domestic violence and sexual assault advocate, she is an activist, speaking out and organizing to highlight the roots of domestic and sexual violence as forms of oppression and shows that the work to end violence is inextricably linked to the work to end all forms of injustice and oppression.
Anne Bryson Doyle 2015
Anne has returned to school to pursue a degree in social work. As the mother of 7 foster-to-adopt children, she has become a strong voice for the need for permanence for children like hers, 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.
Oscar / Veronica Beltran Leyva 2015
Oscar is completing an Associate’s degree and Women’s Studies certificate at Clark College, where he has served as President of the Queer Penguins and Multicultural Students Club. He has also worked as a Peer Mentor in the Center of Diversity and Equity. In the fall, he plans to continue his studies at WSU with a degree in Communications and Women’s Studies in order to continue to work with marginalized students on college campuses.
Nikki Bennington 2015
Nikki will be attending Macalester College and will pursue an undergraduate pre-medicine degree with a focus on neurobiology or psychology. They hope to study sexuality and gender in a biological context in order to push change in the cultural perception of these non-conforming identities, and to also work against ingrained prejudices within the medical field about the queer community.
Forrest Allison-Brown 2015
Forrest will be pursuing a Bachelor's of European Politics at King's College London. Stemming from an interactive globe he received as a child, his fascination with languages and cultures has driven him to partake in activities like Hands for a Bridge, a local social justice program based on international affairs. Forrest's goal is to work for an NGO such as Amnesty International that puts pressure on governments that allow human rights violations to take place.
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