UW Dream Project

May 28, 2014

8th Annual Live the Dream Scholarships Awarded!

For many of us, last Wednesday was either a day filled with midterms or a day preparing for Thursday’s midterms.  But for our Dream Project mentees, it was an unforgettable day that recognized their years of effort, determination, and motivation to achieve their dreams of a successful future.

This year’s 8th Annual Live the Dream Scholarship reception broke records.  21 scholarships were awarded this year – the largest recipient cohort to date.  Furthermore, we had our largest guest turnout ever to recognize support these remarkable students.  It was a night filled with motivating speeches, laughter, and tears of joy.


The Scholarship Selection committee is comprised of last cohort’s high school leads, donors, and staff. Over the course of several hours, we read over the applicants’ essays, transcripts, and mentor nominations, then discussed each student and ranked them by school. After the committee convened, we realized that there were more than 17 students who deserved the $1,000 scholarship. In the end, we awarded 21 scholarships!

“Live the Dream is so different from all of our other events. It represents the culmination of the hard work of Dream Project’s many stakeholders: donors, mentors, and, most importantly, the mentees. The planning committee worked especially hard this year to ensure that the mentees were the focus of the night.

Although we had some logistical speed bumps along the way (traffic was not in our favor that day), the event went smoothly. For me, the highlight was seeing how proud the mentees and their families were as each one walked across the stage to receive their gift bag and certificate. I had the pleasure of emceeing for the night; there were moments while I was standing on stage that I was overcome by not only the number of people who cared about the mentees’ success, but also the depth of their commitment to equality of education opportunity. While Live the Dream is one of our smaller events, it really captures what Dream Project is all about.” 

– Alyssa Hatsukami, LTD Planning Committee

“The night was a celebration on so many levels. For the planning team, we were celebrating all the work that went into the event. Parents were celebrating their children. Leaders were celebrating their high schools. And EVERYBODY was celebrating the phenomenal recipients of the 2013-2014 cohort. 
Knowing how much larger Live the Dream was going to be in comparison to last year was pretty nerve-wrecking. As we began the morning of the event it seemed that everything that could go wrong did go wrong, but by the time the program began none of that mattered because the enthusiasm, excitement, and pride in the room became contagious. I couldn’t stop smiling and was brought to tears by the end of the night as I saw the pure joy on the faces of our recipients and their families. This event will go down as my favorite moment in the Dream Project.” 
– Cindy Gudino, LTD Planning Committee



These students have worked incredibly hard throughout the past year to achieve their goals and will be attending the University of Washington this Fall.  Congratulations to the 2014 Dream Scholars!


2014 Dream Scholars

Kia Hang – Arts and Academics Academy High School

Kia is currently a part of a volunteer youth program at the Woodland Park Zoo called Zoo Corps where she serves as an intern. She is interested in animals, nature, science, video games, music, and art. When not volunteering Kia likes drawing, playing the piano or ocarina. She also enjoys playing video games and collecting a wide variety of things.

Jaskirat Kaur – Auburn High School

Jaskirat is looking forward to pursuing an education and career in medicine. She currently volunteers in the Emergency Department at her local hospital. Jaskirat has been involved in leadership roles as well as the Advanced Placement Program at her school. In her free time she enjoys reading mystery novels, spending time with her siblings, and hiking. A fun fact about Jaskirat is that she lived in New York for thirteen years!

Ibrahim Hersi- Auburn High School

Ibrahim is a first-generation American – both of his parents immigrated from Somalia. He  will be the first in his family to attend a four-year university. Ibrahim wants to go into the medical field and eventually become a doctor.  In his free time Ibrahim likes reading, sports, and movies. He loves movies so much he hopes to one day own a huge collection of his favorites. A fun fact about Ibrahim is that he can speak two languages (English & Somali) and can read and write three (English, Somali, & Arabic).

Arwa Dubad – Chief Sealth International High School

Arwa Dubad is originally from Somalia. She is one of nine girls. Arwa can speak three languages – Arabic, Somali and English. While attending University of Washington Tacoma she is interested in studying Pre-Med, Pre-Law, or Education. Throughout high school Arwa has been involved in Link Crew, World Water Week, and a founding member of Chief Sealth’s Belly Dancing Club. Arwa loves watching Korean Dramas and listening to Kpop. In her free time she also loves swimming and dancing.

Jennifer Tran – Cleveland High School

Jennifer found her love for helping others while volunteering to build schools out of water bottles and bonding with kids in the Dominican Republic. She went on to become a Youth Ambassador for Freshmen at her school who were on the verge of truancy, helping raise graduation rates. Jennifer was president of Fashion Club, a member of National Honor Society, Key Club, as well as a member of the Nordstrom BP Fashion Board. She plans to double major in social welfare, as well as create her own fashion merchandising business major.

Youcef Bennour – Federal Way High School

In the first grade Youcef and his family moved to Algeria where he had to learn a whole new language, Arabic, only to move back to the US in the eighth grade and having to relearn English. Yousef can also speak French and Berber.  Yousef has worked with his School District in going to the Olympia to advocate for various bills surrounding education. While at the University of Washington he plans on studying Computer Science to help others. Yousef enjoys learning about new cultures.  Throughout high school he has been involved in Fuerte, the Russian Ukrainian Club, Latino Club, French Club, Future Business Leader Association, and Eagle Mentoring.

Angelie Teng – Foster High School

Angelie is a Chinese and Vietnamese born and raised in Seattle. She isn’t the biggest fan of Seattle weather, but is willing to stick with it for an opportunity at University of Washington. While at the UW, she plans on preparing herself for the medical field, but is unsure specifically what she wants to do just yet. Angelie loves sports – she plays volleyball, cheerleading, and tennis. She also learned how to ride a unicycle in the 5th grade and still knows how to! Angelie will be the first in her family to receive a high school diploma and the first to get a college education. She loves to be involved and loves school spirit. Go Huskies!

Alebachew Shiferaw – Global Connections High School

Alebachew moved to the US at the age of 15. He grew up in the Ethiopian countryside with his brother and grandparents while his parents and older siblings worked in the US.  After saving up to bring Alebachew and his brother as they were being forced to leave Ethiopia, his parents introduced him to the US. He struggled to keep up with his education but worked hard to do well in school both here and in his home country. Alebachew wants to study computer science – his goal is to be the next Steve Jobs. He understands how interconnected our world is today and wants to use technology to help and give back to third world countries like the one he came from.

Jan Patrick Campanano – HS3

Jan Patrick is a passionate writer. As a junior he worked with some classmates on restarting the school’s Art Magazine and served as the magazine’s front and only writer. He has also been an active participant in Key Club. Jan Patrick enjoys being challenged to step out of his comfort zone as he meets new people through volunteering. While at the University of Washington he plans on majoring in Business Marketing. After participating in the University of Washington’s Executives of Color he found that this pathway really complements his strengths and interests. He hopes to some have a stable career in order to help care for his younger brother who suffers from Autism.

Melissa Brown – HS3

Melissa has dreamed of attending the University of Washington for as long as she can remember. You can imagine as Melissa stated she was “one happy gal” to be achieving her dream this fall. Melissa absolutely loves being active and involved. She has been a part of many activities, such as, music, community service, an assortment of school clubs, athletics, and more. A fun fact about Melissa is that she “sings her lungs out almost everyday” and never gets tired of it.

Luis Gomez-Castillo – Ingraham High School

Luis was born in Mexico City and lived there until he was nine years old before moving to Seattle. He has always wanted to attend the University of Washington and dreams of becoming a doctor. Luis has a job but school has always been his first priority. He takes pride in the fact that he likes going to school and learning new things. Luis loves going to the movies, playing soccer, jogging, playing with his French Bulldog Rocky, and spending time with this family.

Alan Banh – Ingraham High School

Alan grew up in a single parent household and is proud to be the first in his family to attend college. Throughout high school he has been strongly involved in athletics and extracurricular activities. Alan participated in football, cheer, and track all four years and was captain for both football and cheer. When not playing sports, he served as a Special Olympics basketball coach. Alan was the ASB Class of 2014 Treasurer, Cheer Representative, Key Club member, and part of the Vietnamese Student Association all while taking IB & AP courses.

Kidus Sendeke – Ingraham High School

Four years ago Kidus moved here to the United States from Ethiopia. He now volunteers at an Ethiopian community center. Kidus is a founding member of the East Africa club at his high school. Kidus has an interest in technology, engineering and applied music. In his free time Kidus likes to play soccer and pool. A fun fact about Kidus is that he can DJ.

Naresh Oli – Kent Meridian High School

As a kid Naresh was fascinated by education but had limited opportunities because he was born and raised in a refugee camp in Nepal. At the age of 13 Naresh moved to US through third country resettlement for the refugees. Naresh believes coming to the US was the best thing that could have happened to him because it provided him with countless opportunities to pursue his goals. He is currently part of ASL, Art and Nepali club at Kent Meridian, and has played on the school’s soccer team. Naresh’s favorite hobbies are watching sports, playing pickup games, and going to the movies with friends. In one word, Naresh would describe himself as very DETERMINED.

Khangindra Rijal – Kent Meridian High School

Khangindra was born in refugee camp in Nepal and lived there for 13 years. He and his family came to the US in 2008. Moving here was initially a struggle because he had to learn a new language, but he was able to attend a Refugee Transition Center to receive extended help on his studies. Khangindra dreams of becoming a doctor, going back to his home country and building a hospital in the refugee camps. He wants to be there for the people who helped him before coming to the US. He strongly believes that the University of Washington will help him obtain his dream.

Christopher MacApagal – Odyssey High School

Christopher was born and raised in the Philippines, and his family moved to the US in the seventh grade. The transition for Christopher was difficult as he struggled to fit in and tried to adapt to his new environment. As a sophomore he was nominated for Summer Search – a program that serves low income students in developing skills and traits that would better prepare them for college. This program helped him gain confidence as he tried new things and stepped out of his comfort zone. A fun fact about Christopher is that he has been singing since the age of six.

Adji Adam Mbaye – Renton High School

Adji came to the United States 4 years ago. She speaks 3 languages  – English, French, and Wolof. Adji likes to help people and making new friends. She is interested in becoming an immigration lawyer to help women in detention centers. Adji is involved in a club called Build On, where she helps undeveloped countries build schools.  In Auguest of 2013, Build On succeeded in building a school in Nicaragua and is planning to build a school in Senegal this summer! When not volunteering she likes to cook and play soccer.

Diem Quynh Nguyen – Renton High School

Throughout  high school Diem has been involved with Key Club, National Honor Society, Relay for Life and Cross Country. She is looking forward to meeting new people, studying abroad, and continuing her education, while pursuing a pathway in Pre-Medicine here at the University of Washington

Kanishk Shukla – Renton High School

Kanishk has always been interested in going to college and has always been working toward getting into the University of Washington. Kanishk works very hard on things that interest him. He enjoys being involved in school activities such as Relay for Life, Renton High School Green Team, National Honor Society. As senior Kanishk started Film Club at Renton High School and also plays varsity tennis.

Anam Muse – TEC

Anam likes to volunteer throughout her community whenever she has free time. At her local community center she works with young children. Anam also plays volleyball. She enjoys taking risks, trying new things, and stepping out of her comfort zone. Anam loves making new friends and learning new things.

Kiseri Redi – Youth Force Academy

Kiseri came to America from Eritrea, a small country in East Africa at the age of 7 with his mother and sister. He is the Co-founder and current president of Garfield’s African Student Union and a member of the University of Washington’s Young Executives of Color. Kiseri also volunteers at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. While at the University of Washington he plans on pursuing a Business Economics degree. A fun fact about Kiseri is that English is his third language!


We would like to congratulate these hard-working and inspiring students for their achievements, as well as all of the other mentees we were so privileged to work with this year!!  We were able to award 21 scholarships this year, but we are hopeful to award even more next year!

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