| Press Release

Act Six Celebrates 55 New Graduates

Tacoma, Wash. – August 14, 2020 –This past school year, 55 Act Six scholars from underrepresented communities throughout Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota graduated from college, bringing the count of program graduates to more than 450. 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, 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 55 newest Act Six alumni are listed below, along with their majors and high schools.

 Augsburg University

Daniel Degollado, B.A. Finance (Highland Park Senior High School)
Eh Soe Dwe, B.A. Psychology (Clinical Psychology) (Roseville Area High School)
Lourdes Juarez Olvera, B.A. Political Science (Saint Louis Park High School)
Bonsa Mohamed, B.A. Environmental Studies (Edison Senior High School)

Bethel University

Michelle Gallegos Guillen, B.S. Nursing (Como Park Senior High School)
Maricella Xiong, B.A. Reconciliation Studies (Community of Peace Academy)
Sarah Yang, B.A. Teaching English/Second Lang K-12 (North High School)

George Fox University

David Pascual-Matias, B.A. Cinema and Media Communication (Benson Polytech High School)
Giovana Fortanell-Bautista, B.S. Biology (Gresham High School)
Israel Hammond, B.A. Organizational Communication (River Homelink)

Gonzaga University

Larissa Caldeira, B.A. Sociology & Philosophy & Religious Studies (John R Rogers High School)
Dean Sarenac, B.A. Broadcast and Electronic Media (John R Rogers High School)
Rayanna Smith, B.Ed. Special Education (Mead Senior High School)

Heritage University

Michelle Barba, B.S. Biomedical Science (Yakima Online)
Esmeralda Garcia, B.S. Biomedical Science (Wapato Senior High School)
Alfonso Gonzalez-Colin, B.A. Business Administration (A C Davis Senior High School)
David Mejia, B.S.W. Social Work (A C Davis Senior High School)
Sandra Mena, B.A. Mathematics (Granger High School)
Anitramarina Reyna, B.S. Nursing (A C Davis Senior High School)

 North Central University

Juliann Cole, B.S. Social Work & Business Administration (Osseo High School)
Celeste Hofstede, B.S. Social Work (Coon Rapids High School)
Noah Newbauer, B.A. Media Communication (Brooklyn Center High School)
Alexandra Rodriguez, B.A. Elementary Education (Home School)

Peneal Tiruneh, B.S Social Work (Twin Cities Academy High School)

Matthew Vang, B.S. Accounting and Finance (Blaine High School)

 Northwest University

Lidiya Gebre, B.S.N. Biology & Psychology (Charles A Lindbergh High School)
Monika Lagolago, B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (Franklin Pierce High School)
Grace Nyoro, B.S.N. Nursing (Clover Park High School)
Julie Waruguru, B.A. Political Science (Clover Park High School)

Pacific Lutheran University

Elissa Cadena, B.A. Communication (Thomas Jefferson High School)
Lucia Ganu, B.A. Global Studies (Stadium High School)
Kaitlyn Gold, B.A. Computer Science (Governor J R Rogers High School)
Isaiah Huey, B.A. History & Chinese Studies (Clover Park High School)
Samantha Larson, B.A. Chinese Studies & Anthropology (Lincoln High School)
Omar Miranda Garcia, B.A. Sociology (Todd Beamer High School)

Brian Pascual, B.S. Kinesiology (Mount Tahoma High School)

Jaymie Rojas-Luna, B.A. Social Work (Mount Rainier High School)

Taylor University

Lakeisha Johnson, B.S. Exercise Science (Senn High School)
Stevanni McCray, B.S. Mathematics Education (Fishers Christian Academy)
Morgan Murray, B.S. Sustainable Development (Herron High School)

University of Northwestern – St. Paul

Joshua Gillespie, B.A. Communications Studies (Wayzata High School)
Jazinae Patterson, B.S. Psychology & Bible & Criminal Justice (Washburn Senior High School)
Bentura Peralez, B.S. Educational Studies & Bible (John A Johnson High School)

Warner Pacific University

Sameya Amme, B.S. Social Science (Jefferson High School)
Irving Ayala, B.S. Sports and Recreation Management (Tigard Senior High School)
Tarah Bedell, B.S. Criminal Justice (David Douglas High School)
Elvia Carranza Valladares, B.S. Social Entrepreneurship (Tualatin High School)
Pamela Domingo, B.S. Criminal Justice (Benson Polytech High School)
Rube Estrada, B.S. Biological Science (Grant High School)
Evangeline Matley, B.S. Biological Science (Benson Polytech High School)

 Whitworth University

Catalina Corvalan, B.S. Health Science (Mount Rainier High School)
Shana Ellingburg, B.A. Elementary Education (House of the Lord Christian Academy)
Sehen Farrell, B.S. Health Science & Community Health (North Central High School)
Bakari Green, B.A. Business: Accounting (North Central High School)
Sara Trujillo, B.A. Community Health & Kinesiology (Mount Tahoma 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, nearly 950 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 sixteen 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-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.

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

Taylor Tibbs, Act Six Tacoma-Seattle site director, Degrees of Change

(253) 372-2063 or taylor.tibbs@actsix.org.

Adam Ristick, director of scholarships, The Contingent

(503) 477-3255 or a.ristick@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