2016 Scholarship Recipients

  • Alejandra Silva Hernández
    Vancouver
    Alejandra is currently working in the Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology department at the Oregon Health and Science University as a cancer research assistant. Her focus is on the metastatic properties of breast cancer. She hopes to inspire fellow LGBTQ and immigrant youth to pursue STEM related fields despite personal and academic obstacles. She hopes to acquire a master's in clinical psychology to better serve her community as an activist and future health care professional.
  • Barnes,-Heni
    Heni Barnes
    Coupeville
    Heni is attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks to earn her Bachelor's degree in Geological Engineering. She plans to work for the private space industry or NASA as a Planetary Geologist or Asteroid Miner. Currently, she is Treasurer of the GSA at her college and stays involved with PFLAG. She hopes to raise awareness of the LGBT community in Fairbanks. Heni is excited to represent LGBT women of color in the engineering field.
  • Dedushko,-Maksym
    Maksym Dedushko
    Chernihiv, Ukraine
    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.
  • Melissa Ebben
    Appleton, WI
    While working as a Forensic Nurse Examiner, Melissa recently completed a BSN at the UW with a 3.97 GPA and was nominated for the Rising Star Nurse of the Year Award at Providence Regional Medical Center. Currently, she is a mentor at the University of Washington Q-Center and a committee member for the Rainbow Health Fair. She is pursuing a Nurse Practitioner degree with the goal of advancing healthcare equality for the LGBTQ community.
  • Padilla,-Rafael
    Rafael Padilla
    Seattle
    Rafael is a University of Washington student pursuing an undergraduate degree in Nursing. After obtaining his credentials as a registered nurse he hopes to continue his education and become a Nurse Practitioner where hopes to manage his own clinic offering affordable and accessible quality care to disadvantaged and queer youth.
  • Pan,-Landyn
    Landyn Pan
    Bothell
    Landyn is attending Chapman University and pursuing a degree in Public Relations & Advertising. Landyn is a conceptual photographer and filmmaker, and the development director and graphic designer of Trans Student Educational Resources, an organization that fights for trans justice in education. After graduation he hopes to find a career that will allow him to create more LGBTQ stories in the media.
  • Mara Rae
    Tacoma
    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.
  • Tang,-Angela
    Angela Tang
    Seattle
    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. Her long term goal is to achieve economic equity through public policy or leadership in corporate business.
  • Linder,-Carnella
    Carnella Linder
    Seattle
    Carnella is a first generation undergraduate attending Seattle Central Community college and completing her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences. She is a proud lesbian and African American young woman living in a low-income neighborhood in South Seattle, taking care of her mother and niece. Her goal is to own a non-profit in South Seattle that advocates and motivates youth to become educated and gain skills to become self sustainable in a working economy.
  • Funkhouser,-Jake_145x135
    Jake Funkhouser
    South Bend
    Jake attends Central Washington University and is double majoring in Primate Behavior and Psychology. Facing rejection after coming out, Jake worked hard to graduate high school as valedictorian and now keeps a near-perfect GPA throughout 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 then work to make a difference in
    both the animal and human worlds.
  • Ash Peers
    Snohomish
    Ash is a Junior at Western Washington University and is pursuing a major in Psychology with a minor in Queer Studies. They will pursue graduate school after completing their undergrad. Ash strongly believes in the importance of community building. In accordance with this belief, they plan to use their degree to connect LGBTQ people with mental health resources and one another in the pursuit of growth and healing.
  • ABIEM,-AMELIA
    Amelia Abiem
    Seattle
    Amelia graduated in Global Studies, Societal Ethics and Human Behavior and is now entering graduate school to study social work with the hope to someday return to South Sudan. Amelia will use her education to help bring social justice to unrepresented populations. She understands loss, pain, social injustice, abuse, starvation, fear and uncertainty, but also understands the power of caring and compassion and how these offer hope in what can seem like hopeless situations.
  • Aysha Kloub
    Vancouver
    Aysha is pursuing a Masters of Education degree at Pacific Lutheran University with the goal of becoming a bilingual elementary school teacher. Working as an instructional assistant and Arabic interpreter at elementary schools for the past three years has reminded Aysha of the importance of critically reflective and affirming education access for all students. As a result, Aysha hopes to continue working toward racial, economic, and gender justice in public school systems.
  • Allison-Brown-Forerest_145x135
    Forrest Allison-Brown
    Seattle
    Forrest Allison-Brown is pursuing his undergraduate degree in European Politics at King's College London. Stemming from interactions in his childhood, he was driven to begin his activism in high school and onwards into college through his participation with his university's Intersectional Feminist Society. Forrest hopes to take his passions for culture, politics, and social justice to an intergovernmental organization such as the UN to combat gender and sexuality offenses in the Western world.
  • Nikki_Prom2015_145x135
    Nikki Bennington
    Shelton
    Nikki is attending Macalester College and is pursuing 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.
  • Beltran-Leyva,-Veronica
    Veronica Beltran Leyva
    Vancouver
    Veronica completed an Associate's degree and Women's Studies certificate at Clark College where they served as President of the Queer Penguins and Multicultural Students Club. They also worked 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.
  • Bryson-Doyle,-Anne
    Anne Bryson Doyle
    Seattle
    Anne is pursuing a degree in Social Work at the University of Washington. As the mother of 8 adopted 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.
  • Garcia,-Rigo
    Rigoberto Garcia
    Valle de Banderas, Mexico
    Rigoberto is currently pursuing a degree in accounting at Seattle University and wishes to serve as a positive role model. He volunteers at the Rainbow Center in Tacoma, Washington where he founded El Batallon Unido, an educational LGBTQ Latino/a group that informs the LGBTQ Latino/a community about available resources. As a first-generation gay male student, Rigoberto Garcia's passion lies in advocating for the LGBTQ community hoping to empower them to reach their highest potential.
  • Haas-Lanier,-Dustina
    Dustina Haase-Lanier
    Vancouver
    Dustina recently completed her undergraduate degree in psychology and women's studies at Washington State University. She is planning on continuing her education in a master's of social work program. Dustina has been a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate for many years and wants to continue serving the LGBTQ community by creating a program of shelters and services that will also welcome her trans brothers and sisters.
  • King, Eric
    Eric King
    Seattle
    Eric is graduating this spring from the University of Washington with a Bachelors degree in Public Health. In the fall of 2016 he will enroll in his Masters in Public Health at the UW. Eric is interested is LGBTQ and MSM health as it relates to medical provider bias and prejudice.
  • Campagna,-Krys
    Krys Campagna
    San Jose, CA
    Krys 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, Krys hopes to open her own non-profit organization geared toward helping homeless youth in the queer community. According to Krys, even helping one youth at a time can make all the difference in the world. 
  • Michael Carrillo
    Tacoma
    Michael is a trans* Latino male attending the University of Washington and is planning to become a science teacher. He's an active member of the Latino and LGBTQ communities and has advocated for LGBTQ rights through organizations in Tacoma. He has helped the Pierce County YMCA create a trans* inclusive policy. Michael has been involved with multiple Northwest Leadership Foundation initiatives by being on the planning committee for their Latino Youth Summit, serving as host of a Projecto MoLE and planning an LGBTQ workshop.
  • Christian,-Danisha_145x135
    Danisha Christian
    Seattle
    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. 
  • Chantelle Korver
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Chantelle is working on a Masters 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. 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 whom are LGBTQ.
  • Laberge,-Nick
    Nick LaBerge
    Tacoma
    Nick attends Claremont McKenna College (CMC)— a highly selective liberal arts college
    in Southern California. Although his major is undeclared, Nick loves to study economics, literature, and physics. Nick is deeply committed to the LGBTQ+ community; he founded an LGBTQ+ club in his high school, has interned with the Rainbow Center in Tacoma, and is now the treasurer for CMC's Sexuality and Gender Alliance.
  • Mendenhall,-Deanna_145x135
    Deanna Mendenhall
    Silverton, OR
    Deanna is attending Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado pursuing an undergraduate degree in Adventure Education. She hopes to become a wilderness therapist for teenagers within the Queer spectrum, concentrating on maladaptive, addictive behaviors. She has been a fierce advocate for LGBTQ rights since coming out seven years ago. She believes every person is capable of change, and embraces inter- and intra-personal development in every situation which puts her outside of her comfort zone.
  • Middlestead,-Hannah_145x135
    Hannah Middlestead
    Port Angeles
    Hannah is double majoring in Biochemistry/Biophysics and Mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. She is originally from Port Angeles, WA. At school she is working toward gender equality in the STEM fields, and continuing her advocacy for the LGBTQ community, as she did in high school. Her long term goal is to become an ethnopharmacologist and create medicine to ease people's suffering and cure diseases such as HIV.
  • Morfin-Montes-de-Oca,-Ernesto_145x135
    Ernesto Morfin Montes de Oca
    Federal Way
    Ernesto currently attends Duke University. He plans to do a double major in Chemistry and Biology with a minor in Japanese. He is the director of photography for Blue Devil's united, one of Duke's groups for LGBTQ people and allies. He plans to go to medical school and become a surgeon as well as improve LGBTQ advocacy in health care.
  • Arieta,-Mick_145x135
    Mick Arieta
    New York, NY
    Mick Arieta is a graduate student in the Master of Urban Planning program at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. His career interest in advocacy and policy work began with his gender transition and community organizing experience. Mick is dedicated to promoting sustainable and equitable urban development to improve the lives of communities of color and LGBTQ communities.
  • Poteet,-Althea_145x135
    Althea Poteet
    Bellevue
    Althea is a freshman at the University of Washington and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in neurobiology. She is an active advocate and member of the LGBTQ community, and hopes to use her passion and education to positively impact the world around her.
  • Rapinan,-Zane_145x135
    Zane Rapiñan
    Shoreline
    Zane is a passionate scientist and activist pursuing a Bachelors in Science with emphasis in Physics at The Evergreen State College. They are driven towards an interdisciplinary study of scientific methods and application to the fight for more equality, access and representation for minorities in STEM and in the streets. 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.
  • Rivera,-Zeena
    Zeena Rivera
    Des Moines
    Zeena is attending Seattle University for Humanities for Leadership and Psychology. She is a research assistant at the UW Social Cognitive Development Lab conducting research on gender cognition in transgender children. Zeena is also the president of Seattle University Triangle Club and a leader with SU Campus Ministry's GASP which put on a queer Jesuit conference in April. Zeena wants to work towards her doctorate in psychology to do research involving traumatized populations.
  • Serrano,-Juan
    Juan Serrano
    White Swan
    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 is currently working on re-starting an LGBT club at his school that is much needed. Juan wants the LGBT community to be represented and to have a safe environment, with support for those that are in need of their LGBT community.
  • Weaver,-Julia
    Julia Weaver
    Bremerton
    Julia studies at the University of Washington where she is pursuing a degree in Computer Science. She has a history of LGBTQ+ and sexual reproductive health activism that has followed her to campus. Julia advocates for reproductive justice and inclusion of marginalized populations within STEM fields. They are involved with nonprofit organizations such as Girls Who Code where they will teach computer programming to high school girls in a diverse learning environment.
  • Yanez,-Laura
    Laura Yanez Alvarez
    Federal Way
    Laura Yanez is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Welfare at the University of Washington, Tacoma. She is an advocate for immigrants, refugees, Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as Second Language (ESL), the LGBTQ and allied students community, and the underrepresented. Laura plans to become the Associate Dean for Student Programs. Along with higher education advocacy, empowerment, and social justice, Laura will help create a more just and humane society.
  • Parisa Yekalamlari
    Gig Harbor
    Parisa is attending New York University and is pursing a major in politics with a minor in food studies. She is particularly interested in the affects of socio-economic status on food access, and hopes to work as a food justice activist in the future.
  • Zecena,-Ruben_145x135
    Ruben Zecena
    San Salvador, El Salvador
    After pursuing an undergraduate degree in English Education and Women's Studies at Washington State University, Ruben will enroll in a graduate program in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in hopes of becoming a professor. They have experience organizing social justice programs in multiple settings and is specifically interested in working with queer communities of color. Ruben has been an "undocuqueer" for most of their college career and hopes to open doors to future students.
  • Abdulraheem,-Mohamed
    Mohamed Abdulraheem
    Seattle
    Mohammed will earn his AA degree from Green River College in June and transfer to Seattle Pacific University this fall. In the meantime he will study abroad in Costa Rica to expand his knowledge of the world. Mohammed's dedication to become a political scientist is, to demand equal rights for his LGBTQ community in Iraq and help those fleeing persecution. He aims to prove that LGBTQ individuals are present in all spectra of life, education, and careers.
  • Eli
    Eli is a student at Washington State University pursuing a bachelor's degree in Microbiology. He serves as an executive member of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance on campus and is part of the Trans Speakers Bureau which educates faculty and various departments at WSU about transgender issues. He is an advocate for the LGBT communities on campus and hopes to normalize queer spaces within the STEM fields.
  • Olivia Barrell
    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 LGBTA. Upon graduation she hopes to improve a predominantly male industry by becoming a confident voice for equality and LGBTA rights.
  • BUCK,-JOHNNY
    Johnny Buck
    Johnny Buck is a Native American father, leader and ally. He studies at Northwest Indian College in the Native Environmental Science program, with the long-term goal to obtain a PhD in Environmental Engineering, in order to address climate change with indigenous traditional ecological knowledge. He is a passionate mentor and advocate for LGBTQ and Two Spirit identified youth through his leadership with the Native Youth Leadership Alliance and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Youth Committee.
  • Katherine Cavanaugh
    Katherine hopes to attend the University of Washington, and plans to study Computer Science and Engineering. Katherine's motivation to study Computer Science stems from her staunch passion for justice; she is an advocate for liberating disadvantaged communities, and she believes the power of technology can help bring the LGBTQ, people of color, and women closer to a standard of equality. Making the STEM-field a more inclusive environment has been one of Katherine's long-time goals.
  • Christian,-Phillip_145x135
    Phillip Christian
    This year, Phillip spent his time earning a minor in psychology at Eastern Washington University. He plans to enroll in the Social Work Program at Eastern in the fall. His long term goal is to enroll into the MSW program at the University of Washington.
  • Dao,-Eren
    Eren Dao
    Nguyen Eren Dao is a Vietnamese international student who plans on attending Bellevue College's Radiation & Imaging Science program. Training to be a healthcare provider, Eren is currently a Health Scholar working at Swedish Medical Center, and is also an outreach officer at South Seattle College's Queer Straight Alliance. The capacity of help is a blessing gift, which is not only looking after patients, but it is also about fighting for the LGBTQ communities' equity.
  • DoCouto,-Marlon
    Marlon Do Couto
    Goiânia, Brazil
    Originally from Brazil, Marlon is currently finishing his AAS in Business and aims to start a BA in International Business. Marlon is a major advocate of accessibility in public spaces and thinks that, through that, a culture of welcoming and safe places is spread throughout society. His long-term goal is to work with LGBTQ immigrants that come to the U.S from underserved communities so that they can have the tools to be successful.
  • Graterol,-Alejandro
    Alejandro Graterol
    Alejandro is attending the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University and is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Sustainable Business. A proponent for inclusion and equal opportunities in sports for LGBTQ people, he hopes to end the stereotypical stigmas that make LGBTQ people feel uncomfortable in the sports world. As a 2-sport varsity athlete at Skyline High school, Alejandro hopes to carry over this goal to ASU's club sports and sporting events.
  • Langoria,-Adan
    Adan Longoria
    Adan attends Walla Walla Community College pursing an undergraduate degree in nursing. Adan believes that health care providers who understand LGBTQ needs are vital to our community. Adan's goal is to work in an infectious disease clinic with the hope to provide patients an accepting, welcoming, and nonjudgmental treatment experience. Initially, Adan's goal is to become a registered nurse and intends to pursue the long-term
    goal of obtaining a master's degree in nursing.
  • LOU,-ALESSANDRO
    Alessandro Lou
    Alessandro is attending Seattle Central College and pursuing a degree in Computer Science. He plans to transfer to Seattle U or University of Washington after completing his Associates degree at Seattle Central. One of the greatest joys in his life is seeing positive transformation in others. Alessandro hopes to teach programming to marginalized groups, and later further his studies in healing arts.
  • Zander McRae
    Zander is currently un-enrolled in school to focus on work, volunteering, and personal growth. He plans to return to school in the fall in order to pursue a degree in social work and adventure education at Boise State University. He is currently a public speaker and youth advocate who travels to educate communities about queer and trans* issues, based on his own experiences as a QTPOC, mentally ill artist and formerly homeless youth.
  • Osborne,-Scout
    Scout Osborne
    Scout is planning to attend a four-year university after completing high school and aims to major in aeronautical engineering. With an action-based attitude for initiating change and the willpower to match, Scout has actively advocated for LGBT students in her community and has changed the culture of her high school for many years to come. Her efforts to lift her school's ban on clubs resulted in her eventually founding a gay-straight alliance.
  • Puoci,-Victor
    Victor Puoci
    Victor is a senior at Bothell High School and hopes to attend the University of California: Berkeley in autumn of 2016 where he will study Biochemistry in preparation for becoming a neonatal physician. Victor believes all people, regardless of family history, deserve a strong basis on which they can build a successful life. As a trans-boy and advocate for LGBTQ communities, Victor hopes to spread acceptance and compassion in the medical community.
  • Elizabeth Rockett
    Elizabeth is attending Washington State University and pursuing an undergraduate degree in Social Sciences. She graduates in May and plans to pursue a Masters in Political Management. Elizabeth hopes to use her knowledge in political campaign frameworks as well as volunteer management to create positive social changes in the world.
  • Villaneuva,-Brahiam
    Brahiam Vilanueva
  • Aiysha Garcia
    Aiysha is attending Central Washington University, where she is majoring in Biology and Chemistry. Aiysha is also involved in the EQUAL club offered at CWU. Every day Aiysha strives to become better, because "if there ever comes a point in your life when you stop learning, then there is no point of living."

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"The GSBA scholarship gave me the affirmation I needed to pursue my dreams.   There was always a strong sense of support from my friends, family and community.  I knew that one day I would be in a position to give back with the hope that I could help support new scholars in their journey."


–  Ryan Digges, former scholar and current GSBA Board member