Gonzaga Welcomes 19 Students to its Inaugural Unity Scholars Cohort

Picture of College Hall with trees surrounding

June 18, 2024
Gonzaga University News Service
Gonzaga University is thrilled to announce its first class of Unity Scholars, 19 students from across Washington arriving on campus this fall.

These young scholars were selected from applicants committed to social justice, cultural awareness and leadership. Unity Scholars are all Washington state residents with demonstrated financial need, and membership in this inaugural cohort comes with support from an array of Gonzaga offices. The full cost of a Gonzaga education is covered for four years as part of the program, paid for through scholarships and grants.

Among this first class of 19 Unity Scholars, 12 are first-generation college students. Twelve students are from central and eastern Washington, including seven from Spokane, and seven from western Washington. Their average high school grade point average is 3.82, and many served as leaders in student government, cultural clubs and athletics, in addition to working part-time while juggling schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Their fields of study at Gonzaga include biology, business, education, engineering, math and more.

“The Unity Scholars program is a manifestation of Gonzaga's mission to foster a mature commitment to dignity of the human person, social justice, diversity, intercultural competence, global engagement, solidarity with the poor and vulnerable, and care for the planet,’” says Stephen Keller, Gonzaga senior director of undergraduate admission. “We fully anticipate that these impressive Unity Scholars and the caring staff members who provide them with support will have a positive impact on each of these critical aspects of Gonzaga's mission.”

The Unity Scholars 2024 cohort’s Spokane group includes Mariam Aboud (Rogers High School), Kaleeya Baldwin (Lumen High School), Kaylinn Compogno (North Central High School), Jack Curry (Rogers High School), Isabelle Hendershott (Rogers High School), Adalayda Rios (Rogers High School) and Rain Stack (Rogers High School).

Also among this year’s Unity Scholars are Bong Bong Barro (Bellarmine Preperatory School), Jenifer Garfias Pamatz (Friday Harbor High School), Ruth Gonzalez (Centralia High School), Adrian Macias Ontiveros (Sammamish High School), Rae Marie Najera (Brewster High School), Vyvy Nguyen (Kennedy Catholic High School), Lindsey Ozuna Uriostegui (Shelton High School), Natalee Reyna (Manson High School), Aiden Rodriguez (Grandview High School), Kenia Sanchez Martinez (Wenatchee High School), Darmiya Seminario Chariarse (Union High School) and Alexandra Vazquez-Rocha (Chelan High School).

“The inaugural class of Unity Scholars are people who stand for and with others,” Keller says. “They are people who have deep desires to make meaningful contributions to the lives of those around them. We are excited to see the many ways that this class of Unity Scholars will make the Gonzaga Community stronger.”

During their four years at Gonzaga, Unity Scholars will receive foundational and formational support from the Unity Multicultural Education Center. Additionally, other campus partners provide further assistance as the scholars navigate their journey, guided by Yosso's Community Cultural Wealth Model.

Gonzaga’s mission is to educate students for lives of leadership and service for the common good, and these 19 Unity Scholars display a passion for community and leadership through engaged action and scholarship that will encourage the entire Gonzaga community to join them in taking on the world’s challenges.
Learn More About Unity Scholars