Lower Valley

Nine Yakima Valley Students Earn Full Act Leadership Scholarships to Heritage University

Toppenish, WA - The Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative has announced that nine emerging community leaders across the Yakima Valley have won full-tuition, four-year scholarships to Heritage University.

The nine selected to receive the Act Six scholarships at Heritage University this year are:

Kayli Berk, Bickleton High School

Thalia Borja, Sunnyside Senior High School

Cassandra Garcia, Dwight D Eisenhower High School

Jeremy Garcia, Yakama Nation Tribal School

Atzimba Martinez, A C Davis Senior High School

Jesus Mendez, A C Davis Senior High School

Emiliano Orozco, Toppenish High School

José Ortiz-Garcia, A C Davis Senior High School

Irene Paz, West Valley High School

The nine new Act Six recipients join 36 Act Six scholars already on Heritage’s campus. To date, 100% of Act Six scholars chosen since 2011 are still enrolled at Heritage. This reflects retention rates that far exceed national averages. Four Act Six scholars have been elected as student government leaders and scholars have been involved in numerous other leadership roles on campus and in the community.

The newest Act Six scholars will be recognized during a community celebration in Toppenish on February 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hope for the Nations Foursquare Church. The media and the public are invited to attend.

Act Six seeks to develop urban and community leaders to be agents of change on campus and in their hometowns. Since Act Six began, 53 students of ethnically diverse and mostly first-generation, low-income scholars from Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, and the Yakima Valley have enrolled at eight northwest colleges and universities.

The Northwest Leadership launched the Act Six initiative in 2002 in Tacoma, WA. Act Six arrived to the Yakima Valley in 2010 through the efforts of The Yakima Leadership Foundation, whose founder and president is former Yakima mayor and city council member Dave Edler.

During the school year, organizers put the more than 100 applicants from the Yakima Valley through a rigorous three-month competition, and chose the nine for their distinctive leadership, academic potential, and commitment to make a difference in their communities.

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, full-tuition, full-need 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.

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