FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2012
SIXTY-THREE DIVERSE STUDENT LEADERS EARN FULL ACT SIX LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIPS TO EIGHT NORTHWEST COLLEGES
On the same day that student athletes across the country made headlines by signing letters of intent to secure college athletic scholarships, 63 students in five cities across the Northwest quietly gathered with their families to sign commitments for full scholarships of their own. 17 of these students are from Oregon. Selected through a rigorous three-month competition from among nearly 1,000 applicants, these diverse student leaders were chosen, not for their athletic prowess, but for their distinctive leadership, academic potential, and commitment to making a difference in their communities.
The Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative announced today that 63 emerging urban and community leaders across the Puget Sound region, Portland, Spokane and the Yakima Valley will receive full-tuition, full-need scholarships to George Fox University, Warner Pacific College, Whitworth University, Pacific Lutheran University, Northwest University, Trinity Lutheran College, Gonzaga University and Heritage University. Collectively, the awards will provide more than $8 million in financial aid over four years.
The 17 newest Oregon Act Six scholars will be recognized in a community celebration on Monday, Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m. at Life Change Christian Center. They join over 60 graduated and currently enrolled Oregon Act Six scholars.
Launched in 2002, 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, 37 cohorts of ethnically diverse and mostly first-generation, low-income Act Six scholars from urban 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:
To date, 90 percent of the 256 scholars who have started college have graduated or are still enrolled – reflecting graduation and retention rates that far exceed national averages. Two Act Six scholars have been elected as student-body president and scholars have been involved in numerous other leadership roles on campus and in the community. Nearly 85 percent of Act Six alumni have returned to work and serve in their home communities, and 22 percent are pursuing or have earned graduate degrees.
"Act Six is a blessing. Not only do I have the opportunity to pursue a degree in higher education, but now I have the support and the resources to make my dreams come true," says Michaela Brown, a freshmen scholar with the second cadre of Act Six at Gonzaga University. "Act Six is so much greater than me, that at times it's hard to wrap my head around the vision, but all I know is that Act Six has changed my life and I can't wait to start giving back by living the mission."
Pamela Ryan, director of Act Six in Oregon adds, "Our scholars are distinguishing themselves as leaders and agents of change on campus, and they are investing wisely in their future through internships in businesses, non-profits, and the community. They each have a vision to transform the community they call home. And they view this educational opportunity as a primary key to unlock the potential in themselves. We believe this new generation of leaders will help launch the dreams of students and communities that have historically missed out on the opportunities afforded by higher education."
Following is a list of this year's Act Six recipients:
Warner Pacific College (Cadre Three)
Reggie Chipen, Madison High School
Arianna Cruz-Sellu, De La Salle North Catholic High School
Alejandra Garcia, Sam Barlow High School
Thalia Garcia Aguilar, Century High School
Robel Haile, Jefferson High School
Milo Lopez, Forest Grove High School
Justine Moore, Roosevelt High School
Jessie Osuna-Mondragon, De La Salle North Catholic High School
Ricardo Ruiz, Reynolds High School
Jordan Shellmire, U.S. Grant High School
Following next week's celebration, scholars begin an intensive seven-month training program that involves weekly meetings with Act Six staff, retreats and campus visits.
Learn more about Act Six online at www.actsix.org.