Meet the 2021 GSBA Scholars

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Abbie Smith
    Abbigale Smith, 2021
    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & Wilson Novasio Scholar
    University of Washington

    Abbigale Smith (she/her) grew up in Mansfield, WA, and is now attending the University of Washington in Seattle. She returns to live with family and friends across different states during the summertime. She is majoring in pre-nursing. Before she can be in the nursing program, Abbigale must apply for it in her second year of college. Her long-term goal is to become a traveling nurse who can provide comfort and security for any patients who feel anxious at hospitals. When the COVID-19 pandemic ends, she has plans to volunteer for local LGBTQ+ centers as well as homeless shelters, as she wants to help young LGBTQ+ individuals accept and come to term with their identities. Her goal is to stop the stigmas surrounding the LGBTQ+ communities. Abbigale wants to help homeless shelters as well because she wants to help give opportunities to homeless people. Homeless people are often looked down upon and dismissed as humans, but Abbigale wants to help give them their lives back in any way that she can. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Abby Sanders
    Abby Sanders, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar

    Abby Sanders was born in Chenzhou, China, and lived in an orphanage for the first year of her life. She was adopted by her parents, naturalized, and has grown up in rural Port Angeles, WA. Experiencing discrimination as a minority on many fronts, her mission is to revolutionize the acceptance of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people on both a legal and social front. She plans to attend the University of Washington, the University of Maryland, or the University of Arizona to pursue a degree in political science and become a lawyer. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Alejandra
    Alejandra Silva Hernández, 2021
    GSBA Graduate Scholar
    Columbia University

    Alejandra Silva Hernández is originally from Mexico, she grew up in Vancouver, Washington before moving up to Seattle for her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology at the University of Washington. She is currently a Master of Public Health student at Columbia University and a clinical trials research coordinator at the University of Washington Medical Center. She is studying to become a physician and public health practitioner to improve the health of LGBTQIA+ and immigrant communities both inside and outside the clinic. Her goals are to treat patients' physical ailments and address structural racism and disparities which impact their health outcomes.   

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Alexander Pacheco
    Alexander Pacheco, 2021

    2nd Year Scholar & Richard C. Rolfs Scholar
    Eastern Washington University

    Alexander Pacheco first grew in Aberdeen, WA, but now lives in Union Gap, WA. He is currently a freshman in Eastern Washington University. He would love to continue his studies to become an art teacher, or something else in the field of art. He still wants to teach how art can be a coping mechanism and to help anyone in need. He truly wants to be a "comfort" person to many LGBTQ+ youth who are closeted or who do not feel safe around others. He wants to make sure that everyone is safe and valid around him, no matter from what background, gender or sexuality. Regardless of where his path leads, he wishes to still help those around him and wishes to be a positive role model, especially towards LGBTQ+ youth.   

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Anna Rink
    Anna Rink, 2021

    4th Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington

    Originally from Bellingham, WA, Anna Rink currently attends the University of Washington, and is studying English and Education with the goal of teaching in public schools and eventually even shaping education policy. She understands the importance of a strong and inclusive support system, particularly while growing up, and strives to help build community in all she does. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Arath
    Arath Orozco, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Clark College

    Arath Orozco was born and raised in Moreno Valley, California, then moved to Washington. He lived in Mount Vernon for ten years and before moving to Vancouver, where he currently lives. He has completed two years at Washington State University in Vancouver and is now taking a break to pause and reflect on what his true calling and passion is. Arath has only ever wanted to see a difference in the world where equality really means something. Having a career, where he will be able to make an impact on people’s lives and working within communities to help defend their rights is what motivates him. He knows that he will be able to make a difference in whichever field he chooses to pursue by being his authentic self and leading with his values of equity and inclusion.  

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Art Hamilton
    Art Hamilton, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Art Hamilton grew up and currently lives in their community in Vancouver, WA. They are currently attending Western Washington University with a pre-major in Industrial Design. Afterwards, Art plans to use their degree in the science field to engineer solutions for LGBTQ+ life, and to also serve as a testament to the fact that LGBTQ+ youth can grow up to be any career they dream. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Bee McVicker
    Bee McVicker, 2021

    3rd Year GSBA Scholar & Beeks Family Legacy Scholar
    Columbia Basin College

    Bee McVicker grew up in many places in the Pacific Northwest and is now living in Richland, WA attending Columbia Basin College for now, pursuing a degree in Entomology. They hope to change how transgender and gender-diverse people are viewed in STEM fields in a positive light by working in a science field. He wants to help destigmatize how LGBTQ+ people in general are viewed, maybe by becoming a professor in entomology to help other LGBTQ+ people in STEM or just by being a helpful and welcoming person in the field. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Brenda Pham
    Brenda Pham, 2021
    1st Year GSBA Scholar & Symetra Empowers Scholar
    University of Washington

    Brenda Pham was raised in Kent, WA and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree at the University of Washington in Business Administration. They hope to create collective change by supporting low-income communities, BIPOC, and the LGBTQ+ community academically and personally on their path to achieving an education. Brenda's goal is to become one of the first in her family to receive a higher education degree, working in business supporting disadvantaged communities.
  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Bryan
    Bryan J. Rincon-Ochoa, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    North Seattle College

    Bryan J. Rincon-Ochoa grew up in El Plan Del Zapote, Mexico and Tecoman, Mexico up to the age of eight, when he and his mother immigrated to Washington, where he is currently living with his family. He will induce change by motivating, and inspiring LGBTQ+ youth, undocumented immigrants, and BIPOC to perceive their social disadvantages, create social change, and defeat social disadvantages. Bryan is pursuing an associate in business administration at North Seattle College with the goal to transfer to the University of Washington in winter quarter of 2021. Bryan has made becoming a Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeon their long-term goal. He believes his studies in business, social justice and life experiences will allow him to open a dental and maxillofacial practice that serves and inspires LGBTQ+ youth, undocumented immigrants, and BIPOC communities. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Bryant Allen
    Bryant Allen, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Cascadia College

    Bryant Allen grew up all around the Seattle area and is now living in Issaquah, attending Cascadia College finishing his associate transfer degree in Cultural Ethnic Studies. He hopes to inspire others with his story and promote wellness through healing, inspiring LGBTQ+ youth to recognize their own potential, and understanding that true healing and compassion come from within. Bryant plans to transfer to Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California to pursue his doctorate in Network Spinal Analysis. Bryant has made becoming a chiropractor his long-term goal, working with communities, marginalized LGBTQ+ youth, and ultimately providing them with chiropractic care so they can perform at their highest potential. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Casey Williams
    Casey Williams, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Illinois, Chicago

    Casey Williams grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and moved to Olympia, Washington to attend the Evergreen State College in pursuit of his undergraduate degree in Political Science. He has now transferred to the University of Illinois to complete his undergraduate degree. He hopes to go on to law school after graduation in order to channel his passion for the law into tangible changes that protect the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community through civil rights litigation, particularly in relation to Title VII. His long-term goal is to make a meaningful impact through his work on how vulnerable members of the LGBTQ+ community view the U.S. legal system and to shift that perspective towards one of opportunity and trust in its guarantees of equal protection and justice. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Cashayla
    Cashayla Rodgers, 2021

    3rd Year GSBA Scholar & Giblett Family Memorial Scholar
    Norfolk State University

    Cashayla Rodgers grew up in Seattle, WA and is currently attending Norfolk State University, pursuing a Bachelor’s in Political Science. Cashayla plans to pursue a career as a human rights attorney, to advocate for the civil rights of marginalized communities while using her voice to empower others to enact change. Her goal is to confront and reform the education system oppressive and inaccessible for black and brown students. As a youth organizer and activist, Cashayla has spent numerous years immersed in her community; participating in organizations and events that advocate for equity and social justice. Cashayla graduated from Hazen Senior High school where she was honored as a 2018 Outstanding Senior. She balanced her academics with maintaining two part-time jobs, serving as President of the Black Student Union, volunteering, as well as participating as an active member of several community organizations. 

  • Chivon, updated pic
    Chivon Ou, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & Wozumi Family Scholar
    University of Portland

    Chivon Ou was raised in Hillsboro, OR, and now lives in Vancouver, WA, attending the University of Portland. She is a first-generation Khmer-American student pursuing an undergraduate degree in Nursing with a Neuroscience Minor. Inspired by the stories of her parents’ survival as refugees of the Khmer Rouge regime, Chivon aspires to become a nurse researcher to serve communities disproportionately affected by trauma. One of Chivon’s long-term goals is to invalidate the practice of conversion therapy with research. She also has an interest in pursuing research related to HIV using her experience as a biomedical intern. Chivon hopes that along their journey, she will inspire LGBTQ+ youth to pursue their ambitions confidently. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Daniel Kim
    Daniel Kim, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar & Andrew Lee Wong Memorial Scholar
    University of Washington

    Daniel Kim lives in Bellevue, WA, attending Newport Senior High School, pursuing an intended undergraduate degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Gender Studies at University of Washington in Seattle. He minces with queer quandaries of our age, community organizes through city-led equity initiatives, and spearheads anti-discriminatory work at school, to materialize his visions into reality. He is an individual whose intellectual vitality is contagious as he fosters forward-thinking, unconventional, paradigm-shifting conversations with his peers. Growing up Mormon and queer has shaped how he conceptualizes the world. He seeks to become a plastic surgeon to create a free transition-surgery clinic for BIPOC transgender and gender-diverse people. 

  • Dawson Dang
    Dawson Dang, 2021

    2nd Year Scholar & Kenny Olson and John Reed Scholar
    University of Washington

    Dawson Dang grew up in Longview, WA, and is now living in Seattle, attending the University of Washington, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Nursing. Dawson hopes to become a family nurse practitioner/ midwife to open a clinic that directly serves LGBTQ+ patients wishing to start families. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Elizabeth Braatz
    Elizabeth Braatz, 2021
    1st Year GSBA Scholar & Charlie Brydon Memorial Scholar
    Western Oregon University

    Elizabeth Braatz was adopted at birth in La Mesa, CA. She grew up in San Diego, CA and Anacortes, WA. She is a third-year student at Western Oregon University, majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Legal Studies. In high school, she was a founding member of the Activist Student Union and the Volunteerism Club, organizing marches and protests and giving speeches against gun violence and hate crimes, while also promoting community service. She is currently a Resident Assistant at WOU. She is active in student government as the Vice President of the Black Student Union and a member of the Multicultural Club and Triangle Alliance. She has been Vice President of the Residence Hall Association and as well as her dorm. Elizabeth organized a March Against Hate following racist vandalism incidents at WOU. After graduation, Elizabeth plans to attend law school, then become an attorney fighting for equal opportunity protections for minorities and people in under-served communities. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Elle Harwood
    Elle Harwood, 2021

    3rd Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington

    Elle Harwood grew up in Spokane, WA and is currently living in Seattle attending the University of Washington. They are currently a sophomore working towards undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and International Studies: Comparative Religion with minors in Jewish Studies and Microbiology. Elle anticipates pursuing a career as a pediatric research oncologist and hopes to work to find unique solutions to bridge the seeming gap between spirituality and science. They also hope to participate in activism and equity work for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth who have spent time in the foster-care system. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Ellie Spencer
    Ellie Spencer, 2021
    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & Symetra Empowers Scholar
    University of Utah

    Ellie Spencer grew up in the small western Washington town of Packwood. At the age of 16 she moved to the city of Tacoma, where she still lives now. Ellie attends the University of Washington in Tacoma, though she intends to transfer to main campus when coronavirus subsides. She is a business major who plans to use her future influence and success to promote the welfare of intersex people everywhere, by raising awareness and giving back to the intersex support communities that helped shape her own identity. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Elyse Decker
    Elyse Decker, 2021

    3rd Year GSBA Scholar
    Swarthmore College

    Elyse Decker grew up in Seattle, WA and is now going to school right outside of Philadelphia at Swarthmore College. When she comes back from school on breaks, she stays just north of Spokane, Washington. She's planning on majoring in Global Studies so she can create an impact for the LGBTQAI+ community worldwide. She has been becoming more involved with her Indigenous history and tradition and is also planning on studying the intersections between Indigenous culture and LGBTQAI+ history. Elyse is hoping to continue in academia becoming a professor to help guide the next generation to be more open and comfortable with expressing themselves. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Erin Howard
    Erin Howard, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Erin Howard is a non-traditional, genderqueer, and neuroqueer undergraduate at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, who grew up in the Navy town of Bremerton. They are pursuing a double major in Physics and Math/Computer Science, with minors in Astronomy and Statistics. They hope to increase visible representation and financial support of ALL underrepresented genders in STEM by advocating for change in scholarship distributions that are only for women. Erin also seeks to increase disability awareness in STEM and Queer communities, ensuring that all are accessible to people with disabilities. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Evelyn
    Evelyn Stovin, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Denver

    Evelyn Stovin was born and raised in Federal Way, WA. She plans on going to the University of Denver to pursue a degree in American Studies and to explore their independence. They do not know what career path she wants to go down, but she knows that they want to utilize history to enact change. They have far flung hopes to become a champion of LGBTQ+ rights and help their state become a safe place for LGBTQ+ youth. 

    Evon Mahesh, 2021
    3rd Year GSBA Scholar & #BeYou T-Mobile Scholar
    University of Rochester

    Evon Mahesh grew up in Sammamish, WA, and is now in his second year of college at the University of Rochester in western New York. He is in a five-year Education Policy program. He hopes to help transform education into a system that affirms and uplift students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and other young people who are underserved in our current education system. Evon aspires to teach elementary school in the future and continue his current work in education justice and policy. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Fatima
    Fatima Al-Rikabi, 2021
    4th Year GSBA Scholar & Chester Podlodowski Memorial Scholar
    University of Washington

    Fatima Al-Rikabi is from Everett, Washington, although she currently lives in Marysville while attending the University of Washington at the Seattle campus. She is majoring in History and Sociology and is in the process of studying for the LSATs so that she can apply to law school towards the end of 2021, and she plans on going to law school for public advocacy. She hopes to work for a pro-LGBTQIA non-profit and has met many people in this field that have motivated this. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Fialuaia
    Fialaui’a Lamositele, 2021

    4th Year GSBA Scholar & Sandy Peterson Memorial Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Fialaui’a Lamositele is from Bellingham, WA. They are attending Western Washington University's Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies creating their own concentration of Healing in Education, Leadership, and Organizational Change emphasis in Indigenous and Ethnic Studies while minoring in Education and Social Justice. They hope to keep honoring Indigenous ways and tools to address contemporary issues for healing individuals and communities. Fia is a long-time poet and co-facilitates workshops focusing on identity, reflection, art, and self-community care. Their life plan is to continue to love and serve our community by honoring our ancestors, ourselves, and future generations to come. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Fukui
    Fukui Shen, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington

    Fukui Shen was born in Hsinchu, Taiwan. He moved to Vancouver, Washington in 2015 as a 1.5 generation immigrant. Currently, he is attending the University of Washington intending to graduate with a degree in Urban Planning. If possible, he will also double majoring or minoring in either Political Science or Japanese. His ultimate career goal is to become a transportation planner and work under a transportation agency in the Seattle area. In his career will provide unisex/all-gender restroom options at bus and train stations. In his senior year of high school, he had worked with the local LGBTQ+ community such as Q Center and QSA at Clark College. When the pandemic is over, he will restart in-person activities related to LGBTQ+ and Asian-American communities. 

    Inés Marti Devolx, 2021
    3rd Year GSBA Scholar
    Gonzaga University

    Inés Marti Devolx is a non-binary, pansexual senior at Gonzaga University working towards a B.S. in Biology with a Research Concentration on the Pre-Med track. Their current research studies the effects of extreme drought on shortgrass prairie composition and productivity in northern Colorado through a partnership with Colorado State University and Gonzaga. They are currently split between choosing a graduate program or taking to the medical track, but their definite plan is to take at least one gap year following their commencement next spring. If they were to take the medical route, their dream is to start up a community LGBTQ+ center offering medical services, counseling, inclusive sexual education, etc. Inés is passionate about art and music, intersectional social justice, and learning about other cultures. They were born in The Netherlands, moved to Chile at age nine, and moved to Boulder, CO, in 2013 before moving to Spokane, WA, in 2018. 
  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Isa Jolie
    Isa Jolie, 2021
    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Isa (they/them & fae/faer) grew up in south Texas and after being displaced for being queer, came to live in Bellingham, WA for faer education. Fae is building the concentration Queer Ecology within Fairhaven College at Western Washington University, while pursuing a minor in Queer Studies and Spanish. Fae is a co-founder and lead facilitator of the Queer Eco Justice Club at WWU, finding deep inspiration in the Queer Ecojustice Project and the life-giving act of growing your own food. Fae is also a volunteer with the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters, gardening locally to feed community members who have been left without a grocery store, and a volunteer with the north Texas organization LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S. serving at-risk queer youth. Faer long-term goal of learning how to honorably cultivate food from land is rooted in faer continued journey of recovery from trauma and food insecurity, placing emphasis on respecting Indigenous land rights and addressing the devastation of food scarcity in the queer community. 

    Isaac Bullock, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar 
    Tacoma Community College

    Isaac Bullock grew up in Tacoma, Washington and is currently living in University Place; currently enrolled with Tacoma Community College. They are working on their Associates Degree in communications. Isaac hopes to cultivate differences and new ways of thinking through communication for, and with, the LGBTQ+ community. Isaac plans to use their degree in communication to advocate for those whose voices are not yet heard in the LGBTQ+ community. Isaac’s further endeavors are to attend University of Washington -Tacoma where they will work on obtaining their Bachelor's in communications and on to their Master's degree. Isaac is also interested in counseling and mental health services for young teens and adults.

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_James McAndie
    James McAndie, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & Wells Fargo Scholar
    Columbia University

    James McAndie grew up in rural Carson, WA and attended school both there and in Vancouver, WA. He recently moved to New York City where he is majoring in math and economics as an undergraduate at Columbia University. He is pursuing a career in economics where he hopes to establish an LGBTQ+ presence in a field lacking such diversity. Once there, he aspires to be a role model for others in the LGBTQ+ community who want to follow a similar career path who may not have a leader to see themselves in. 

    Jay Robles, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar & Pyatt Family Social Justice Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Jay Robles is from Bellevue, Washington. He is currently a first-year student with a junior standing at Western Washington University. They are residing in Bellingham while taking classes remotely. As a Sociology major, he is working towards a BA in Sociology as well as an interdisciplinary minor within the honors program. Jay would also like to pursue the History of Culture minor that his school offers. They are interested in advocacy, cultural studies, and activism. Through everything that they pursue, Jay is working to incorporate accessibility, diverse representation, and intersectional thinking. His future career will be an accumulation of his work in equity and inclusion and his passion for culture and knowledge. They hope to serve underrepresented communities and provide a unique perspective to their field. 

    Jesse Reidy, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & Russell Investments Future Leader Scholar
    University of Washington

    Jesse Reidy grew up in Port Orchard, Washington and is currently a sophomore at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is pursuing a communications major, with a minor in sales and marketing. His broader goal is to help foster supportive communities, especially in career fields that often have very few LGBTQ+ voices. Jesse hopes to use his passion for sports to advocate for diversity and acceptance in a community that is important to him. He believes that everyone should feel welcome expressing themselves in all aspects of their lives, and he wants to work to make that a reality. 

    Jessyca Ramonette, 2021

    4th Year GSBA Scholar
    Washington State University, Tri-Cities

    Jessyca grew up in California and Hawaii. She studied Psychology and Sign Language at Ventura College, Kapiolani Community College, and Walla Walla Community College. There she found passion for leadership. She proved capable of earning a 4.0, leading others into action, and found a zeal for community education. She volunteers with Planned Parenthood doing voter-registration, Census work, and lobbying at the state capitol. Jessyca resides and studies at Washington State University Tri- Cities. She’ll graduate 2022 with her bachelor's of science in Psychology. Her plans include graduate school and dreams of law school eventually. Jessyca’s survived sexual abuse and assault, is permanently disabled, and battles chronic depression and anxiety. To know Jessyca is to know she’s tough. The quality she's most proud of is her resilience. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_June
    June Amundson, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Juniper Amundson grew up in Seattle, WA and currently lives in Bellingham where he attends Western Washington University. As they pursue their Bachelor's in both Public Health and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, he aims to become a sexual health educator and provide accessible sex education for high school students which focuses on principles of LGBTQ2+ inclusion and pleasure activism. His particular areas of interest lie in supporting the sexual development of persons with physical disabilities. 

    Katie Wehrman, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Smith College

    Katherine "Katie" Wehrman uses she/her and they/them pronouns and identifies as a lesbian. She was born and raised in Kirkland, Washington, though they are a current first-year at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Katie plans to major in psychology, with long-term goals to offer therapy to LGBTQ+ individuals. They will compete on Smith's swim team, as well, once it is safe to do so. 

    Kendrick Jackson, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & Founders Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Kendrick Jackson is an intersectional Queer and Indigenous scholar in his third year at Western Washington University, where he is majoring in Human Services and double minoring in Sociology and Political Science. He was raised in Lynden, WA, and is now living in Bellingham, WA to attend university. As a foster-care alumnus, a member of the BIPOC community as an Indigenous person, and in identifying with the LGBTQ+ community, he has a unique lived experience which he hopes to use, paired with his education, to provide aid and advocate for marginalized communities. His long-term goals are to represent the marginalized identities he holds and use his voice in positions of leadership in his future career, whether it be in a non-profit organization, in government, or in politics. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Kevin
    Kevin Alexander Estrada Alamo, 2021

    3rd Year GSBA Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Kevin Alexander Estrada Alamo grew up in Seattle, WA and is now living in Bellingham, attending Western Washington University and pursuing an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Computer Science. They are developing their career in research and hope to become an innovator in the medical field. By developing novel therapies, developing a deeper understanding of HIV and other microbes, and pushing the limits of what can be done with science. 

    Lacie Lopez, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    South Puget Sound Community College

    Lacie Lopez currently lives in Olympia, Washington. They grew up in San Diego and moved to Washington when she was nineteen. They are currently working towards an Associates of Applied Science in Automotive Technology degree at South Puget Sound Community College. A career goal of hers is to open a cooperatively owned auto repair shop and to create a workplace that is welcoming and comforting for other queer mechanics. 

    Lash O'Cain, 2021

    3rd Year GSBA Scholar
    Cornell College

    Lashaunycee O'Cain (Lash) was born in Renton, WA and lives in Seattle interning with Three Dollar Bill Cinema while applying to pursue an undergraduate degree in Film Studies. Her grail is to enlighten the entertainment industry as a national platform by introducing stories that have never been heard before. She has already successfully completed a year of college at Cornell in Mount Vernon, IA and intends to close her gap year at the end of the summer as to attend college again in the next coming Fall. 

    Leo MacLeod, 2021

    4th Year GSBA Scholar & C. White Read Scholar
    University of Washington

    Leo MacLeod grew up on Vashon Island, WA and currently lives in Seattle to attend the University of Washington and pursue a dual major in Marine Biology and Oceanography. He wants to make STEM a more accepting field for young, queer voices. He currently works three research jobs in different areas of marine science and loves finding ways to make complex topics accessible, especially through the use of art. Ultimately Leo wants to remove the barriers to learning about science and inspire people to take an active role in caring about our environment. 

    Lindze McCarley, 2021
    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & Thoelke-Gaspari Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Lindze McCarley was raised in Nettleton, Mississippi, but now calls Washington her home. Lindze served as an Aviation Electricians Mate in the Navy where she was actively involved in promoting equality and mental health of LGBTQ+ service members. She is attending Western Washington University, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and is passionate about advocating for diversity and inclusion in STEM careers. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Lisa Ha
    Lisa Ha, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Pacific Lutheran University

    Lisa Ha was born in Tacoma, WA and she is now living in Kent, WA. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at Pacific Lutheran University. She aims to become a software engineer in hopes of empowering students from underrepresented and underserved communities, including LGBTQ+ youth, to explore STEAM and college access opportunities. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Lizbeth Chavez
    Lizbeth Chavez, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington

    Lizbeth Chavez was born in Salinas, California. Shortly afterwards, she moved to Pasco, Washington where she currently resides. She plans to attend the University of Washington to pursue an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Later, she will pursue a master’s and PhD in clinical psychology and seek board certification. Armed with these qualifications, she hopes to battle high suicide rates and poor mental health in the LGBTQ+ community by working with low-income and homeless LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Magdelena
    Magdalena Pink Sanchez, 2021

    3rd Year GSBA Scholar & L. Robb Memorial Scholar
    Loyola Marymount University

    Magdalena Pink Sanchez was raised on Bainbridge Island, WA and now lives in Bellingham, attending Loyola Marymount University. They are pursuing a double major in Film Production and Screenwriting with aspirations of becoming a showrunner. Magdalena has a passion for storytelling and recognizes the importance of not only having diversity in front of the camera, but within every aspect of the production process. Their goal is to make compelling films that highlight LGBTQ+ voices and provide a platform to those who's stories aren't always told. 

    Manny Lopez, 2021

    3rd Year GSBA Scholar & Glenn Johnson and Michael Melancon Bright Horizons Scholar
    University of Washington

    Manny Lopez has lived in Washington for seven years now. She moved here from a small town in Georgia. She is in her final year at the University of Washington, finishing an undergraduate degree in Microbiology. Her current goal after graduation is to apply to a PhD program, hoping to apply social justice towards scientific research. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Marina
    Marina Westendorf, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & Rachelle Mileur Memorial Scholar
    Evergreen State College

    Marina Westendorf has always lived in Washington, often moving between eastern and western cities. Currently they live in Renton, WA. They are attending Evergreen State College pursuing an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Politics. They eventually want to run for Senate, and change the laws to support immigrants, people of color, and those on the gender and sexuality spectrum who are under-served. Though working at the local community level seems more and more appealing.  

    Michelle Rockett, 2021
    1st Year GSBA Scholar & Louise Chernin Scholar
    Arizona State University 

    Michelle Rockett is from Bremerton, WA and now lives in Seattle, WA. She currently attends Arizona State University online, majoring in Family & Human Development, focusing on inequity in education. She plans on becoming a dual certified teacher in Special Education & Elementary Education. Michelle’s personal and professional work prioritizes disability justice from an intersectional viewpoint. Her work and advocacy focuses on supporting LGBTQIA+ and/or disabled students in the K12 system.

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Milla Zuniga
    Milla Zúñiga, 2021
    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    University of Washington

    Milla Zúñiga was born and raised in Seattle, WA and continues to reside in Seattle as she pursues her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington. She is majoring in Computer Science and has completed a minor in Mathematics. Milla aspires to create and increase opportunities for minorities to learn and work in the STEM world as it continues to grow. She hopes that her work in the field will be an inspiration to youth in STEM as she progresses through her own journey.
    Nahum Yanez, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar
    North Seattle College

    Nahum Yanez immigrated from Mexico to the United States at the age of 19 years and has always lived in Seattle. Unacceptance, discrimination, violence, and a lack of opportunities made him leave home. He completed his ESL, GED and two-year transfer degree in Global Studies at Seattle Central College. Now, he pursues a two-year transfer degree as an IT and Network Support Administrator at North Seattle College. His short-term goal is to complete his IT degree and get a job in Microsoft as an administrator. His long-term goal is to take three short degrees: in programming, web development, and web design to expand his job opportunities. Getting this education will give Nahum the tools to advocate and make a difference for his LGBTQ+ community. He wants to develop websites for LGBTQ+ organizations that promote inclusion, fight for LGBTQ+ rights, tutor his HTML, Java Script, Linux and Cisco skills, and encourage his LGBTQ+ community to study technology. 

    Nate Jo, 2021

    4th Year GSBA Scholar & Theodore and Rosemarie Ockles Memorial Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Nate Jo was born in Pasco, Washington and now lives in Bellingham where they attend Western Washington University. Nate is majoring in Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics while focusing on environmental and housing security policy. At WWU, Nate has served as the Associated Students (AS) Vice President for Business & Operations, AS Business Director, Queer/Trans People of Color Board Member, and also currently serves as a WWU Swim Team Captain in addition to volunteering for The Trevor Project. Nate hopes to achieve a master’s degree in public policy from a leading university and make positive progress in government by addressing environmental issues and housing insecurity. Specifically, Nate hopes to support LGBTQ+ youth who face elevated risks of housing insecurity. 

    Navouny Swanson, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar
    Western Washington University

    Navouny D. Swanson, preferably known as Navouny Divinne, was raised in the Greater Seattle Area, creating a ruckus with their ingenuity and flair. Starting fall of 2021, they will commence their college journey at Western Washington University in pursuit of an Interdisciplinary Studies degree. Focused in marine biology, botany, philosophy and the arts. Being of many Queerities (Trans, Enby, and Queer) and Multi-racialities (with diverse lenses of experience), Navouny's long-term goals include a life and career that encompass the use of their distinct voice, ability, and uniqueness to create - not only complete sustainably of all human societies - but together as one. As well - and most importantly - honor the incredible biodiversity of life, inclusive of all species. In doing so, they will be an example to all of what could be, and what can be when you forge your own path. They will break down barriers and encourage the voices/actions of future and current BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, differently-abled, and all other beings. 

    Omid Assadi, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & Symetra Empowers Scholar
    Bellevue College

    Omid Assadi grew up in Karaj, Iran and now lives is Lake Forest Park, WA, attending Bellevue College and perusing a bachelor's degree in healthcare informatics. His dream is using his skills and social communications to help Iranian LGBTQIA refugees. Omid has a background in nutrition science and a passion in information technology, and the combination of these two led him to an interdisciplinary major, healthcare informatics. One of his visions is developing a cell phone application to help LGBTQIA youth track their required health services. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Rafael Padilla
    Rafael Padilla, 2021

    GSBA Graduate Scholar
    University of Washington

    Rafael Padilla was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States at a young age. After moving countless times to seek out more opportunities, his family finally settled in Seattle, Washington. Here, Rafael attended the University of Washington and completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2018. Now, Rafael works at a public health clinic where he tests and treats sexually transmitted infections for a largely LGBTQ+ patient population. He also assists high-risk individuals in accessing the clinic's HIV PrEP program and delivers nursing care to HIV+ persons facing extensive barriers to accessing traditional HIV care. He hopes to return as a doctorate student to pursue his goal of finally becoming a Nurse Practitioner serving LGBTQ+ communities and HIV+ individuals under a greater scope of practice. 

  • 2021 GSBA SCHOLARS_Ro Boyce
    Ro Boyce, 2021

    3rd Year GSBA Scholar & Thomas W. and Mary W. Yetman Memorial Scholar
    University of Washington

    Ro Boyce grew up in Miami, FL and is now living in Seattle, attending the University of Washington, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Health Science and Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies. She hopes to continue public speaking and hosting leadership and self-identity workshops centering on the black trans voice and uplift LGBTQ+ youth voices to be the positive representation we so greatly need. 

    Robin Hardwick, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Reed College

    Hailing from a small town in Southwest Washington, Robin Hardwick is currently a second-year sociology major and statistics minor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Driven to the subject out of passion to study both social networks and organizations, Robin hopes to combine quantitative and qualitative research methods of social structure to uncover how low socioeconomic status and LGBTQ+ communities differ from expected structures in ways that contribute positively to their success—including chosen families and organizations like the GSBA, which demonstrate how marginalized communities support one another. Uncovering existing social inequalities within vulnerable communities and identifying possible solutions and resources is also within their scope of interest. Robin’s goal is to earn their B.A. from Reed and a PhD in sociology at graduate school. From there, Robin hopes to become a professor, able to research all the above topics while teaching future generations of students. 

    Sam Lacet-Brown, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Tufts University

    Sam Lacet-Brown grew up in Tacoma, WA, and currently lives in Medford, MA studying Cognitive and Brain Science at Tufts University. He hopes to find a way to make algorithms more inclusive by working to mitigate the amplified marginalization of minority groups, such as people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, which occurs with many machine learning models. 

    Samantha Ayers, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Shoreline Community College

    Samantha Ayers grew up in Shoreline, WA, and has lived in the same area all her life. She is currently going to Shoreline Community College, and plans to transfer to a four-year university for a degree in communications. Her long-term goal is to become an event planner who focuses on creating inclusive events for people inside and outside the LGBTQ+ community. 

    Sarah O'Connell, 2021

    1st Year GSBA Scholar & Olympic Hot Tub Scholar
    Skagit Valley College

    Sarah O’Connell grew up on the southern shores of New Jersey but now resides in Oak Harbor, WA with their spouse and two small children. They have lived on Whidbey Island since 2010 and are currently enrolled at Skagit Valley College and have been accepted to the full-time two-year Registered Nursing program. They have spent the last eight and a half years slowly working on their prerequisites for this program while working full time in various positions of caregiving, most currently as a certified nursing assistant in the local community hospital since 2014. Their goal after finishing the RN program is to continue for their BSN, then to a nurse practitioner program, planning to work closely with LGBTQA+ community, either in a gender care clinic, Planned Parenthood, or another location offering them the opportunity to provide equitable care. 

    Skylar Kaylen, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar
    Seattle University

    Skylar Kaylen (better known as Sky) grew up in the small suburban town of Upland, California. They're attending Seattle Central Community College, pursuing an Associate's of Arts in Global Studies. Sky was accepted to Seattle University and will be pursuing a bachelor's degree in social work with aspirations to be a social work researcher in LGBTQ+ issues, which help address community experiences disparities. Sky's inspiration is drawn from overcoming various social, economic, and institutional barriers and challenges they experienced while growing up in a single-parent home. Sky also has a passion for plants and horticultural therapy to help cope and manage their behavioral health. 

    Tiffany-Ashton Gatsby, 2021

    2nd Year GSBA Scholar & David Barzilai Memorial Scholar 
    University of Washington

    Tiffany-Ashton Gatsby is pursuing a double-major in Medical Anthropology - Global Health and Interdisciplinary Visual Art with a minor in Diversity at the University of Washington. They recently completed their Departmental Honors Thesis in Anthropology, exploring how interaction within support systems drives queer-disabled individuals to utilize art as a form of healing and resistance. Next year, their Departmental Honors program in Art will explore the medicalization and desexualization of queer-disabled bodies by subverting expectations through performativity. They plan to continue their research in graduate school and beyond, focusing on empowering queer-disabled individuals through community-based art installation collectives. Tiffany-Ashton is a board member with the Seattle Dyke March, the Parliamentarian for Pi Sigma Phi National Honors Fraternity, a member of the Mortar Board National College Senior Honors Society, and one of the 2021 Husky 100.