AWC Center for Quality Communities scholarship winners

Year-after-year, competition for our Center for Quality Communities scholarships is steep.
Congratulations to the outstanding young leaders who have won.
More information about the students.
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Edgar Quiroz Sanchez – Pasco

Edgar Quiroz Sanchez, is an aspiring math educator who is deeply committed to civic service. He serves as Student Board Representative for the Pasco School District, vice president of the National Honor Society, and president of DECA. Through his involvement with DECA, Edgar had the privilege of organizing his school’s Suicide Awareness Week. This experience helped him realize that we are never alone in our battles and how important it is to support students in talking openly about their struggles. Edgar’s other volunteer activities include working with the Boys & Girls Club, Bikes for Tykes, and Walk to End Alzheimer’s. He is also a student athlete, earning four varsity letter awards, serving as captain of the tennis team, and twice winning an award for Most Inspirational Athlete on his cross country team.

Federico Colin, Jr. – Bridgeport

Federico Colin, Jr., credits his training and experience as a junior firefighter with changing how he approaches situations that confront him in life. He has learned how to handle stressful situations actively and analytically, rather than just sit back and hope for the best. Federico seeks out ways to use his experience to provide support, advice, and knowledge to help others. He serves as Bridgeport High School ASB President and volunteers as a translator during Bridgeport School District’s parent-teacher conferences. Managing a rigorous academic course load, Federico was named English Department Student of the Year and is a three-time award winner in the National Novel Writing Month. Federico will be a first-generation college student.

Joo Gyeong Kim – Lakewood

Joo Gyeong Kim, has overcome many obstacles since her family immigrated to the U.S. from Korea to pursue better educational and academic opportunities. After facing many hardships, including racism and discrimination, she gradually gained confidence and realized her dream of student leadership when she was elected ASB Senior Class President. Joo Gyeong’s own challenges inspired her to form a college prep support group at school, to help other disadvantaged students pursue their educational and career goals. Joo Gyeong serves as a member of the Lakewood City Youth Council and played a key role in planning the second annual Lakewood Youth Empowerment Summit. Joo Gyeong’s career goals include working in the nonprofit arena to help low-income students pursue higher education and working in policy development to improve college affordability.

Leah Tran – Tacoma

Leah Tran, serves as a member of Tacoma’s Youth Commission, helping elevate the youth voice across the city. She is also active on the Youth Philanthropy Board of the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, a leader in Key Club, and an athlete. Growing up in an unstable home environment, Leah struggled academically but was determined to succeed. During her senior year she began volunteering with Pierce County Juvenile Court, helping youth and families engage with restorative justice as an alternative to the court system. This experience has inspired her to be a role model for other youth who have lacked guidance and support. Leah plans to teach psychology at the high school or college level. By serving as an educator and youth mentor, she hopes to help others realize they can achieve more than what society believes they are capable of.

Milena Johnson – Pullman

Milena Johnson, co-founded her high school newspaper after controversy around a school building project called attention to the need for better communication between the student body and school administration. Milena played an integral role in visioning, design, and student recruitment for the paper, and as managing editor, she balances responsibilities for content management with feature writing of her own. Not only is Milena a leader in student journalism, she is also a varsity tennis player, principal cellist in her high school orchestra, and volunteer at the WSU Museum of Art. Milena plans to study urban design to work toward increased sustainability, efficiency, and socioeconomic justice, with a special interest in transportation planning.

Nivedita Kumar – Mukilteo

Nivedita (Nivi) Kumar, has been accepted by Johns Hopkins University to study bioengineering, with the long-term goal of pursuing a career in cardiothoracic surgery. She works as a research intern at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, assisting with genetic mapping and sequencing projects. Among her many school and community service projects, Nivi serves as co-chair of the Mukilteo Youth Advisory Committee, a team appointed and guided by the mayor to work on service projects and advise the city council. After recently losing a childhood friend to suicide, Nivi developed a mental health initiative at her high school to help destigmatize mental health struggles and create a community of students, parents, and others trained in suicide prevention.


2019 winners

Colt Corrigan, Chelan • Silvia Esparza, Quincy • Sargun Handa, Mukilteo • Chanelle Hunt, Cusick • Gabriela Ruiz Heras, Vancouver • Katrina Wagner, Enumclaw • Kristina Te, Tukwila • Collin Pittmann, Rosalia

2018 winners

Johana Ocampo Becerra, Mount Vernon • Nayeli Cervantes, Pasco • Zachariah Fincher, Friday Harbor • Savannah Kimzey, Yakima • Evarosa Perry, Cheney • Collin Pittmann, Rosalia • Hannah Stewart, Mercer Island • Kristina Te, Tukwila

2017 winners

Abigail Brandt, Mill Creek • Uyen (Cathy) Dao, Sequim • Kristina Dorris, Soap Lake • Rosalyn Goveia, Ellensburg • Claudia Penney, Lakewood • Amber Torell, Longview

2016 winners

Carson Bergstrom, Pasco • Grae Hill, Lacey • Johana Ocampo, Mount Vernon • Alisha Purdom, Marysville • Kioko Soneda, Burlington • Ethan Toth, Wenatchee

2015 winners

Zachary Anders, Lynnwood • Nandina Cengic, Tukwila • Nayeli Cervantes, Pasco • Isabel Gabriel, Friday Harbor • Simran Handa, Mukilteo • Dagmawit Kemal, Seattle • Olesya Mironchuk, Seattle • Joanna Santana, Quincy • Tin Vo, Seattle • Jalen Wright, Seattle

2014 winners

Katelyn Dolan, Liberty Lake • Prabha Dublish, Sammamish • Lucas Gordon, Anacortes • Nina Klinkhammer, Lakewood

2013 winners

Emina Dacic, Tukwila • Michael Dyer, Kelso • Danielle Larson, Almira • Elizabeth McKeen, Anacortes • Ce’Nedra Thomas, Latah • Kendall Todd, Odessa

2012 winners

Mason Cole, Anacortes • Colleen Delp, Dayton • Sonja Sanchez, Bridgeport • Russell Wiita, Sultan