February 19, 2016


Families, schools, and communities are celebrating in the Pacific Northwest. Act Six announced today that 22 emerging urban and community leaders across the Puget Sound region will receive scholarships to Gonzaga University, Northwest University, Pacific Lutheran University, and Whitworth University. Collectively, colleges will provide at least $4 million in financial aid over four years.

Selected through a rigorous three-month competition among more than 700 applicants, these diverse student leaders were selected for their distinctive leadership, academic potential, and commitment to making a difference in their communities.

The newest Act Six scholars will be recognized in a community celebration in Tacoma on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at Urban Grace Church. The media and public are invited.

Launched in 2002 by the Northwest Leadership Foundation (NLF) in Tacoma, Act Six seeks to develop urban and community leaders to be agents of transformation on campus and in their home communities. Since the program’s inception, 64 cohorts of ethnically diverse and mostly first-generation, low-income Act Six scholars from Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, and the Yakima Valley have enrolled at eight Northwest colleges and universities.

Act Six develops leaders through a simple, but powerful, four-step strategy:

  • Recruit and select diverse, multicultural cadres of the Northwest’s most promising emerging urban and community leaders.
  • Train and prepare these groups of students in the year prior to college, equipping them to support each other, succeed academically, and grow as service-minded leaders and agents of transformation.
  • Send and fund the teams together to select private, liberal arts colleges in the Northwest on four year scholarships.
  • Support and inspire by providing strong campus support and ongoing leadership development to nurture these young people as they find their vocation and grow into the next generation of community leaders.

To date, over 80 percent of the 653 scholars who have started college have graduated or are still enrolled – reflecting graduation and retention rates that far exceed national averages. Several Act Six scholars have been elected as student-body presidents and scholars have been involved in numerous other leadership roles on campus and in the community.

Nearly two-thirds of Act Six alumni have brought their degrees back home to serve and lead in Northwest communities, and more than a quarter are pursuing or have earned graduate degrees. Together, these connected and educated alumni are forming a fabric of leadership that is working to make their communities more vibrant and just.

“Act Six has been an excellent piece of the community here. It has served as both an outlet for leadership and a support system,”

says one Act Six scholar at Gonzaga University.

Following is a list of this year’s Act Six recipient for Tacoma and Seattle:

Whitworth University (Cadre Fourteen)

Andrews Boateng, Decatur High School

Cat Corvalan, Mount Rainier High School

Sara Trujillo, Mount Tahoma High School

Northwest University (Cadre Eight)

Zhanna Kotilevskaya, Curtis Senior High School

Monika Lagolago, Franklin Pierce High School

Sunny Nov, Stadium High School

Stefon Payne, Lincoln High School

Malcom Scarry, Oliver M Hazen High School

Julie Waruguru, Clover Park High School

Lidiya Gebre, Charles A Lindbergh High School

Pacific Lutheran University (Cadre Nine)

Tyler Bosser, Clover Park High School

Lucia Ganu, Stadium High School

Kaitlyn Gold, Governor J R Rogers High School

Isaiah Huey, Clover Park High School

Omar Miranda Garcia, Todd Beamer High School

Jaymie Rojas-Luna, Mount Rainier High School

Elissa Cadena, Thomas Jefferson High School

Gonzaga University (Cadre Eight)

Joan Aoanan, Raisbeck Aviation High School

Jesus McCloskey, Thomas Jefferson High School

Genesis Yanez, Highline High School

Lucia Quin-Flores, Highline High School

Following next week’s celebrations, scholars begin an intensive seven-month training program that involves weekly meetings with Act Six staff, retreats, and campus visits.


Marisol Rosado-Carrisalez, Act Six Tacoma-Seattle program manager, Northwest Leadership Foundation, (253) 272-0771 ext.113 or

Taylor Tibbs, Act Six Tacoma-Seattle program manager, Northwest Leadership Foundation, (253) 0771 ext.114 or

Lawrence Burnley, associate vice president, diversity, equity, and inclusion, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4215 or

Melannie Cunningham, director of multicultural recruitment, Pacific Lutheran University, (253) 535-8716 or

Andy Hall, director of admissions, Northwest University, (425) 889-5212 or

Julie McCulloh, dean of admissions, Gonzaga University, (509) 313-6591 or