Eight Student Leaders Earn Full Act Six Scholarships

LaShantay Wall, Keisha Hood, Douglas Kempthorne, and Austin Johnson

February 06, 2014

(Above) Spokane members of Gonzaga's Cadre Six (from left): LaShantay Wall, Ferris High; Keisha Hood, Gonzaga Prep; Douglas Kempthorne, Gonzaga Prep; and Austin Johnson, North Central High. Photo by Jose Angel.

Gonzaga News Service 

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University will welcome eight new Act Six Scholars to the incoming class of 2018. The scholars are among 59 students from the Pacific Northwest to receive full college scholarships as members of the latest Act Six cohort.

Selected through a rigorous three-month competition from among more than 900 applicants, these diverse student leaders were selected for their distinctive leadership skills, academic potential, and commitment to making a difference in their communities.

The latest cohort of Act Six student leaders comes from Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Spokane and the Yakima Valley. Other Act Six students receiving full scholarships will attend George Fox University, Heritage University, Northwest University, Pacific Lutheran University, Trinity Lutheran College, Whitworth University and Warner Pacific College. Collectively, the awards will provide more than $8 million in financial aid over four years.

The newest Act Six Scholars were recognized in community celebrations throughout the Northwest.

Launched in 2002 by the Northwest Leadership Foundation in Tacoma, Act Six seeks to develop urban and community leaders to be agents of transformation on college campuses and in their home communities. Since the program's inception, 53 cadres 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.

To date, 90 percent of the 434 scholars who have started college have graduated or are still enrolled — reflecting graduation and retention rates that far exceed national averages. Four Act Six Scholars have been elected as student-body presidents; scholars have also been involved in numerous other leadership roles on campus and in the community.

Nearly 85 percent 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 is a blessing," says Michaela Brown, a senior scholar with the second cohort of Act Six at Gonzaga. "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. 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."

Following are Gonzaga's 2014 Act Six Scholars (Cadre Six):

Jordan Cotton, Thomas Jefferson High School
Keisha Hood, Gonzaga Preparatory School
Austin Johnson, North Central High School
Douglas Kempthorne, Gonzaga Preparatory School
Marina Rojas, Thomas Jefferson High School
Trang Tran, Lincoln High School
Lashantay Walls, Joel E Ferris High School
Jaden Zwick, Thomas Jefferson High School