Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

February 27, 2013

Talent Search Students Honored at Champions of Diversity Awards Ceremony

champs_diversity_teaser2University of Washington Educational Talent Search participants Zulen Pantoja-Ortega, Austin Schuetzel and Melina Soto were among the high school students honored at the 2012 Champions of Diversity Awards Ceremony at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Wash., Dec. 5.

The awards ceremony is designed to honor students, from grades nine through 12, from Skagit, San Juan and Island County high schools who have contributed to diversity on their campuses and in their communities. Over 100 students were presented with a “Champions” award and selected seniors received scholarships from eight Washington state colleges and universities, and other donors.

Pantoja-Ortega (Mount Vernon High School), Schuetzel (Sedro Woolley High School) and Soto (Mount Vernon High School) were awarded the UW Champions of Diversity scholarship and will receive $4000 to attend the UW for the 2013-14 academic year. All three are involved in UW Talent Search, a grant-funded program designed to assist economically and educationally disadvantaged middle and high school students prepare for college.

UW Seattle group photo_web

(left to right) Talent Search administrative counselor Tia Gehlhausen, Austin Schuetzel, Zulen Pantoja-Ortega, Talent Search associate director Rob Leatherman, Melina Soto and OMA&D associate vice president Enrique Morales.

Complete lists of the 2012 Champions of Diversity award winners and scholarship recipients are available on the Skagit Valley College web site.

The Champions of Diversity Awards Ceremony was founded in 2000 by Anita Ordóñez (Skagit Valley College), Rita Ordóñez (University of Washington) and Rafael Gomez (Western Washington).