Meet the 2018 GSBA Scholars

  • 2018Scholar_AbbyLeigh_145x135
    Abby Leigh, 2018
    L.Robb Scholar, Second Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Denver 

    Abby Leigh grew up on Bainbridge Island, WA and now lives in Denver, CO. She attends the University of Denver and is working towards degrees in Socio-Legal Studies and Public Policy. Her overarching goal is to become a civil rights lawyer specializing in LGBTQ discrimination.

  • 2018Scholar_Adan Longoria Jr._145x135
    Adan Longoria Jr., 2018

    Third Year GSBA Scholar
    Walla Walla Community College
    Adan Longoria Jr grew up in Quincy, WA. and is now living in Clarkston, WA 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. Adan’s long term goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner

  • 2018Scholar_Alejandro Graterol_145x135
    Alejandro Graterol, 2018
    David Barzilai Scholar, Third Year GSBA Scholar
    Arizona State University

    Alejandro Graterol is from Issaquah, WA, and is now residing in Tempe, Arizona, attending Arizona State University. He is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Environmental Business. He hopes to use his passion for the natural environment and his entrepreneurial spirit to open his own environmentally sustainable business. Alejandro also has a passion for yoga, mindfulness, healing, and the arts, and would love to incorporate some or all of these into his business.

  • 2018Scholar_Alejandro Leon_145x135
    Alejandro Leon, 2018
    First Year GSBA Scholar
    Seattle Central College

    Alejandro Leon, grew up in Tenancingo, Mexico and is now living in Seattle, WA. Alejandro is currently attending Seattle Central College and is planning to transfer to the University of Washington to study computer science. In the future, Alejandro intends to support LGBTQ students with obtaining their GED.

  • 2018Scholar_Alessandro Lou_145x135
    Alessandro Lou, 2018
    Microsoft Scholar, Third Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington

    Alessandro is studying Informatics at the University of Washington with a focus in Data Science and Human Computer Interaction. He hopes to learn as much as he can and in the process create assistive, accessible and mindful technology.

  • 2018Scholar_Althea Poteet_145x135
    Althea Poteet, 2018
    Microsoft Scholar, Fourth Year Scholar
    University of Washington
    Althea Poteet grew up in Bellevue, Washington and is now living in Seattle, pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science at the University of Washington. She hopes that widely applicable technical skills will help her achieve an ambiguous goal of making a positive impact on the world. She also wants to bring more social awareness to a field that often struggles with inclusivity.
  • 2018Scholar_Amanda Schendzielos_145x135
    Amanda Schendzielos, 2018
    GSBA Founders Scholar – First Year GSBA Scholar
    Pacific Lutheran University

    Amanda Schendzielos grew up in Tacoma and surrounding areas, is currently living in Puyallup, while attending Pacific Lutheran University. She is pursuing a degree in education with which she hopes to inspire and encourage youth of all backgrounds with her tools and knowledge of culturally responsive pedagogy. A focus on gender, orientation, ethnic identity, and class inclusivity will be her drive and motivation as an educator.

  • Anna Rink, 2018

    First Year GSBA Scholar
    Anna Rink grew up in Seattle, WA and is currently a high school senior in Bellingham. She plans on pursuing an undergraduate degree in education in order to follow her dream to possess a career where she is able to create positive change in communities, particularly for marginalized youth.

  • 2018Scholar_Anne Bryson-Doyle_145x135
    Anne Bryson Doyle, 2018

    Giblett Family Scholar-Fourth Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington
    Anne Bryson-Doyle is an Interdisciplinary-Visual-Art honors student at the University of Washington. Her 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 artwork explores family relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation and sexuality.

  • 2018Scholar_Arden Weaver_145x135
    Arden Weaver, 2018

    Fourth Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington
    Arden Weaver currently resides in Seattle Washington where they study Informatics at the University of Washington. They are devoted to breaking apart the 'boy's club' that is tech. By studying accessible technology they are making way for disabled coders to unite and create technology that helps individuals. Their long term goal is to become the most kick-ass queer nonbinary accessibility dev goddess.

  • 2018Scholar_Bea Taylor_145x135
    Bea Taylor, 2018

    Second Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington
    Bea Taylor is from Poulsbo, WA and currently lives in Seattle, attending the University of Washington. They are pursuing undergraduate degrees in Social Work and Interdisciplinary Arts and a minor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. After accomplishing their MSW, Bea plans to use their experience in Art and Social Work to provide identity affirming art therapy programs for LGBTQ youth to fight internalized bigotry through queer culture.

  • 2018Scholar_Bradlee Thielen_145x135
    Bradlee Thielen, 2018

    First Year GSBA Scholar
    Western Washington University
    Bradlee Thielen grew up in Longview, WA and is now living in Bellingham, attending Western Washington University, pursuing an undergraduate degree in both Graphic Design and Sociology. He hopes to apply both degrees to represent the queer community through visual communication. Bradlee hopes to one day form a queer art collective that can empower and inspire other LGBTQ+ people through illustration, graphic design and community outreach.

  • 2018Scholar_Danisha Jefferson-Abye_145x135
    Danisha Jefferson-Abye, 2018

    Fourth Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington
    Danisha Jefferson-Abye is a black, white, native, queer nontraditional student & mother. She’s spent the last 20+ years as an Organizer for social justice campaigns and as a Massage Therapist, specializing in treating reproductive issues. Returning to school in pursuit of a medical degree in order to combine her passions for clinical care and policy work, Danisha plans to deliver culturally appropriate primary care while working to develop healthcare systems that better serve marginalized communities.

  • 2018Scholar_Elmer Coria-Islas_145x135
    Elmer Coria-Islas, 2018
    Second Year GSBA Scholar
    Pacific Lutheran University

    Elmer Coria-Islas came of age in Guerrero, Mexico and is now living in Tacoma, WA, attending Pacific Lutheran University, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Elementary School Education. He hopes to empower children through education and give them a voice to speak against injustice, discrimination, and inequality in our communities. He wants them to embrace their ingenious, sensational selves from an early age!

  • 2018Scholar_Eren Dao_145x135
    Eren Dao, 2018

    Third Year GSBA Scholar
    Bellevue College
    Eren Dao was raised among the Catholic community in Saigon for 17 years. Moving to Seattle to pursue a life of dignity and freedom as a gay man, Eren also found his passion working in a rehabilitation center to take care of elderly patients. Eren is currently enrolled at Bellevue College in the nursing program. Eren has also developed projects that could create the first Vietnamese LGBTQ youth group in King County.

  • 2018Scholar_Ernesto Morfin Montes de Oca_145x135
    Ernesto Morfin Montes de Oca, 2018
    Fourth Year GSBA Scholar
    Duke University

    Ernesto Morfin Montes de Oca was raised in Seattle; but spends his year living in Durham, NC where he attends Duke University. As a pre-med Neuroscience Major, he aims to eventually become a doctor. Although he spends more time in the library than he would like to admit, he knows it will all pay off when he is able to give back to the LGBTQ+ community through service as a physician.

  • 2018Scholar_Fatima Al-Rikabi_145x135
    Fatima Al-Rikabi, 2018
    Chester Podlodowski Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar

    Fatima Al-Rikabi was born in Everett, WA and lives in Marysville. She hopes to attend the University of Washington and pursue a degree in Pre-Medicine and a minor in research. She would like to become a medical researcher and doctor. Her goal is to assist in breaking ground for doctors in the future as an LGBT female Muslim.

  • 2018Scholar_Fialaui'a Lamositele_145x135
    Fialaui'a Lamositele, 2018

    First Year GSBA Scholar
    Whatcom Community College 
    Fialaui'a Lamositele is from Bellingham, WA and Samoa. They currently attend Whatcom Community College and plan to transfer to Western Washington University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Human Services, Education and Social Justice. She hopes to remain involved in sustaining safe spaces that center, empower and support indigenous, undocumented, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and traditionally marginalized people. Fialaui'a would love to keep facilitating Peacemaking Circles for communities of all backgrounds to promote peace, love, and harmony.

  • 2018Scholar_Fredrick Anex-Schnauss_145x135
    Frederick Anex-Schnauss, 2018

    Sounders FC GSBA Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington, Tacoma
    Frederick Anex-Schnauss is a queer and trans student from Seattle, Washington. They currently are attending UW Tacoma and live on campus. Frederick is studying Business Administration and Management, and minoring in Corporate Social Responsibility. While Fred has a passion for working with youth in outdoor education, they aim to use this degree to focus on shifting hiring practices and policies in organizations, to create workplace access and develop sustainable and just organizations.

  • 2018Scholar_Hannah Middlestead_145x135
    Hannah Middlestead, 2018

    Wozumi Family Scholar, Fourth Year Scholar
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
    Hannah Middlestead is now a senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and is about to get her bachelors in Biochemistry and Biophysics before graduate school. Recently from Port Angeles, WA, she has lived all over the United States, and has been an advocate for LGBTQ rights for most of her life. She continues to support the LGBTQ community as she works toward becoming an ethno-pharmacologist, to contribute to ending diseases such as AIDS.

  • Jessyca Ramonette, 2018

    First Year GSBA Scholar
    Walla Walla Community College
    Jessyca grew up in California before moving to Washington. She graduated with honors in 2017, receiving her AA in Psychology before returning for a 2nd degree in Human Services. These are evidence of her commitment to her own personal growth, desire to advance the LGBT community to which she proudly belongs, & help others. She plans to transfer to university pursuing Queer Studies, Women’s Studies, Psychology, & law. She will become a Human Rights Advocate.

  • 2018Scholar_Johnny Buck_145x135
    Johnny Buck, 2018

    Third Year GSBA Scholar
    Northwest Indian College
    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.

  • 2018Scholar_Juan Serrano_145x135
    Juan Serrano, 2018

    Fourth Year GSBA Scholar
    Whatcom Community College
    Juan Serrano grew up in Yakima, WA and is currently living in Bellingham, attending Whatcom Community College. He plans to create his own degree in three different fields such as Political Science, Social Justice and Education. He hopes to provide skills towards students that learn differently in public schools that are not being well served and transform communities that are conservative. Juan’s long-term goal is to become the United States Secretary of Education, working with students.

  • 2018Scholar_Kai Winchester_145x135
    Kai Winchester, 2018

    Rich Thoelke Scholar, First Year Scholar
    Western Governors University
    Kai Winchester grew up in Spanaway, WA and still lives there and attends Western Governors University pursuing a degree in K-12 Special Education. They hope to be a role model and advocate for disabled LGBTQ youth. Their goal is to either teach the Deaf, or teach ASL at the college level to help connect two communities that are often disconnected from one another.

  • 2018Scholar_Katherine Cavanaugh_145x135
    Katherine Cavanaugh, 2018

    Third Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington
    Katherine Cavanaugh is from Puyallup and currently attends the University of Washington in Seattle. She studies Political Science and plans to study law after finishing her undergraduate degree, with the goal of working in politics or as a civil rights attorney.

  • 2018Scholar_Keegan Samaniego_145x135
    Keegan Samaniego, 2018

    Second Year GSBA Scholar
    Reed College
    Keegan Samaniego grew up in Marysville, WA and is now living in Portland, OR attending Reed College. They are pursuing a double major in Political Science and Philosophy. They hope to become involved in civil service or civil rights law to support the LGBTQIA+ community and its many intersections.

  • 2018Scholar_Kristi Maldonado_145x135
    Kristi Maldonado, 2018

    Wells Fargo Scholar, Second Year GSBA Scholar
    Washington State University
    Kristi Maldonado is a human of color raised in Texas, in a conservative home. They are attending WSU, earning a degree in strategic communication. Kristi believes in active citizenship. They provide a social movement grounded in drag performance. They believe entertainment is a starting point for allies to feel welcome and access a community many have not been exposed to. They work diligently as a community activist to assure others less fortunate are served.

  • 2018Scholar_Leo MacLeod_145x135
    Leo MacLeod, 2018

    C. White Reade Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    Leo MacLeod has lived on Vashon Island all his life. He hopes to attend UCSD or UW to study marine biology and fine art. As a deeply committed student leader with a passion for social justice, activism and education are foundational aspects of his life. He plans to use his experience as QSA co-president and founding Vashon Teen Council member to ensure young, queer voices are represented in STEM and the larger community.

  • 2018Scholar_Mei'lani Eyre_145x135
    Mei'lani Eyre, 2018

    First Year GSBA Scholar
    Cascadia College
    Mei'lani Eyre was born in Seattle, currently lives in Kirkland, and is a Computer Science student attending Cascadia College where she's pursuing her undergraduate degree in Mobile Application Development. As a member of Lesbians Who Tech and the Rainbow Teen Advisory Board of King County, Mei'lani aims to liberate queer women in computer science and provide LGBTQ+ youth with safe places to be and discover who they are through youth-friendly, LGBTQ+ events.

  • 2018Scholar_Melissa Ebben_145x135
    Melissa Ebben, 2018

    GSBA Graduate Scholar
    University of Washington
    Melissa Ebben grew up in Appleton, WI and is currently living in Mount Vernon, WA, pursuing a doctorate at the University of Washington. She is studying to be a nurse practitioner who cares for patients who have experienced assault or abuse. Melissa currently works as a Forensic Nurse. After receiving her doctorate, as a nurse practitioner, Melissa will provide physical and mental healthcare to trauma survivors emphasizing care of the LGBTQ community.

  • 2018Scholar_Miki Cabell_145x135
    Miki Cabell, 2018

    Graduate Scholar
    Brandman University
    Miki Cabell grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, she presently resides in Hoquiam Washington and attends Brandman University, pursuing her Doctoral degree in Education. She hopes to be a change agent by inspiring all people to understand their strength and ability through education and outreach. Miki’s goal is to become a teacher and a transformational leader.

  • 2018Scholar_Mohamed Elias_145x135
    Mohamed Elias, 2018

    Third Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington
    Mohamed Elias grew up in Baghdad, Iraq before and during the 2003-war and Turkey after the war. As a refugee, Mohamed attended Green River College and is now pursuing a Bachelor's in Political Science and minoring in Jewish Studies. Mohamed's ultimate-goal of becoming a diplomat drives him to help disadvantaged LGBTQ members of conservative communities in America, Iraq, & Turkey. Mohamed envisions a peaceful Iraq where the LGBTQ+ community and the heterosexual community, Muslims and non-Muslims live in cohabitation.

  • 2018Scholar_Nate Jo_145x135
    Nate Jo, 2018

    Meade Thayer Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    Western Washington University
    Nate Jo was raised in Richland, WA, a small conservative town. Throughout his life he developed a passion for helping others, specifically his LGBTQ peers. He plans on attending Western Washington University in the fall and pursing a degree in psychology or education. Either way his focus will be on making the world a more equal place and inspiring the next generation of LGBTQ leaders.

  • 2018Scholar_Nick Laberge_145x135
    Nick Laberge, 2018

    Fourth Year GSBA Scholar
    Claremont McKenna College
    Nick LaBerge was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. With the help of the GSBA, he has been able to attend his dream school, Claremont McKenna College, in southern California where he will be a senior. Nick is a physics major and is considering a career in research. Nick strives to foster an LGBTQ community wherever his life takes him.

  • 2018Scholar_Nikki Bennington_145x135
    Nikki Bennington, 2018

    Fourth Year GSBA Scholar
    Macalester College
    Nikki Bennington is from Shelton, WA and is currently attending Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. They are pursuing an undergraduate degree in Biology with a Chemistry minor, on the premedical track. Their ultimate goal is to become a physician and work to improve LBGTQ+ healthcare outcomes through research and policy change.

  • 2018Scholar_Nolan Platz_145x135
    Nolan Platz, 2018

    First Year GSBA Scholar
    Santa Clara University 
    Nolan Platz grew up in Kingston, WA and is now living in California, attending Santa Clara University. Pursuing an undergraduate degree in bioengineering, he hopes to tackle issues of health, especially relating to HIV and cancer studies. Becoming a bioengineer is Nolan's life goal, aiding underprivileged and marginalized communities by providing more affordable, reasonable, and innovative technologies to tackle these global epidemics.

  • Olivia Barrell, 2018

    Third Year GSBA Scholar
    DigiPen Institute of Technology
    Olivia Barrell grew up in Sequim Washington and is currently attending the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington, as a third year student and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Real-Time Interactive Simulation. Olivia is hoping to become a strong voice for women in an industry dominated by men.

  • 2018Scholar_Richard Parra_145x135
    Richard Parra, 2018

    Glenn Johnson and Michael Melancon Bright Horizons Scholar, Second Year Scholar
    University of Washington
    Richard Parra was born and raised in the Tri-Cities, WA and is now attending the University of Washington in Seattle. He is majoring in Bioengineering with a concentration in cells, tissues, and systems. His long-term goal is to become a university professor and research scientist. He hopes to serve as a faculty adviser/program director for organizations that help underrepresented minority students, especially LGBTQ+ youth.

  • 2018Scholar_Rowan Postyeni_145x135
    Rowan Postyeni, 2018

    First Year GSBA Scholar
    DigiPen Institute of Technology
    Rowan Postyeni is pursuing a degree in Fine Arts at DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington, returning to Washington State after many years in Bend, Oregon. He aspires to become involved with character design in the video game industry and to be a voice in increasing positive representation for LGBTQ individuals in mainstream entertainment.

  • 2018Scholar_Ryan Wagstaff_145x135
    Ryan Wagstaff, 2018

    Second Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington 
    Ryan Wagstaff was born in Georgetown, Guyana and immigrated to the U.S at age three months. Ryan has lived in Washington state for ten years, currently lives in Seattle attending the University of Washington, studying Public Health. After meeting other Queer and Trans students at GLAAD,  Ryan wants to give legal aid to trans and undocumented people and is planning to pursue his interest in law school.

  • 2018Scholar_Scout Osborne_145x135
    Scout Osborne, 2018

    Third Year GSBA Scholar
    Oregon State University
    Scout Osborne, a sophomore from La Center, WA, is currently studying biochemistry and Spanish at Oregon State University. He has been an advocate for social justice and LGBTQ rights since high school, where he founded a much needed gay-straight alliance. Now, he works with OSU residential education in social justice outreach to impact the lives of new students on campus. He is dedicated to spreading resources and support to marginalized students and to educating others.

  • 2018Scholar_Spencer D'Avis_145x135
    Spencer D'Avis, 2018

    Second Year GSBA Scholar
    Highline College
    Spencer D'Avis was born in Bellevue and he is currently residing in Renton attending Highline College, with hopes of transferring to WSU to pursue strategic communications and graphic design. He is involved in student leadership, and works closely with local community organizations to produce advertising materials. 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 LGBT community.

  • 2018Scholar_Victor Puoci_145x135
    Tori Puoci, 2018

    Rosemarie & Theodore Ockels Scholarship, Third Year GSBA Scholar
    Oregon State University
    Victor Puoci is from Bothell, WA and is currently a sophomore at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. He is pursuing an Honors degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Music Performance. Victor hopes to help expand the diversity of scientists in STEM by making research opportunities more accessible and educating research groups on how to be more accepting of diversity.

  • Yohanes, 2018

    Yohanes was born and raised in Eritrea and currently lives in Spokane, WA. He is pursuing a nursing degree at Washington State University. His goal is to be a nurse and dedicate his career to making sure all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, skin color, or background, get a fair opportunity to live a meaningful and prosperous life.

  • 2018Scholar_Zander McRae_145x135
    Zander McRae, 2018

    Third Year GSBA Scholar
    Edmonds Community College / Outward Bound
    Alexzander McRae has spent the majority of his life stumbling, growing and thriving in the Pacific Northwest, with Washington being his true roots and home. Zander is an aspiring outdoor educator and adventure enthusiast. He plans to work with youth from underserved communities, by modeling leadership, seizing adventure and providing tools for building community between young people and the natural world through exploration, sport, study and curiosity.

  • 2018Scholar_Zoe Jaspers_145x135
    Zoe Jaspers, 2018

    Richard C. Rolfs Scholar, First Year GSBA Scholar
    Gonzaga University
    Zoe Jaspers grew up in East Wenatchee, Washington, and now lives in Spokane where they attend Gonzaga University. Zoe is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Political Science, History, and Religious Studies. Zoe sincerely believes in the power of visibility, using their position to connect LGBTQ+ youth and engage wider communities in critical conversations. Regardless of career path, they hope to increase the accessibility of LGBTQ+ history and work with affirming and reconciling religious spaces.