2014 Celebration Scholarship Recipients

Pedro Arellano-CamarenaPedro Arellano-Camarena
President’s Achievement Award
Mathematics

Pedro moved to the United States from Mexico as a young child and grew up facing academic struggles typically experienced by undocumented students. The language barrier made it difficult for his parents to help with school work and when Pedro failed to understand a subject matter, he shut down and gave up. As a junior in high school, he read at just a sixth-grade level but longed to be more like his best friend whose college-reading level and great potential were praised by teachers.

When Pedro later enrolled at Green River Community College, he focused on conquering his insecurity with English. His efforts paid off. Pedro received a 4.0 in every English class he took, prompting him to tackle his next fear: mathematics. Pedro spent countless hours at the math study center and grew to love the subject. He transferred to the University of Washington in 2012, will complete his bachelor’s degree in math this Spring and is already enrolled in the UW Master in Teaching program.

Pedro also has a passion for working with youth and feels a responsibility to help other undocumented students who struggle emotionally, academically and financially. He was fortunate to return to Mexico to obtain documentation, but knows that option is not available to many others. As the vice president of the Latino Student Union at Green River, Pedro organized high school outreach efforts and raised $1,000 for a scholarship benefiting undocumented students. At UW, he helped lead the second annual Beyond HB 1079 Conference.

Pedro’s dream is to teach math in underserved communities and help at-risk students pursue higher education. He wants to support those who battle socio-economic, linguistic and cultural barriers. Pedro says, “I strongly believe teachers have the greatest opportunity to influence students to pursue an education beyond high school. I know some students may not believe in themselves, but I will believe in them and provide the support they need until they believe in themselves.”


Mark BennettMark Bennett
Wells Fargo Vice President’s Achievement Award
Mathematics

Mark took an unconventional journey to the University of Washington. Originally from Renton, Mark endured some difficult teenage years. He struggled with alcohol addition, became a father at age 17 and dropped out of high school. By age 19, he was homeless, living on the streets and feeling invisible.

With the help of YouthCare and other community-based organizations, Mark eventually got sober and went into recovery. He earned his high school diploma, enrolled at Seattle Central Community College, moved into transitional housing, squared away his legal records and gained custody of his son. Mark also discovered a love for mathematics and received an extra boost from the Washington MESA Community College Program which helped support his academic pursuits and an application to the UW.

Mark became a Husky last fall, but just one month into his first quarter received devastating news that his mother passed away. Mark sought help from his supports and despite his grief, kept focused on classwork. In fact, he scored 100 percent on his linguistics exam the very next day. He finished the quarter with two 4.0’s and a 3.9, made the Dean’s List and received the UW Mathematics Department Thomas Bleakney Endowed Scholarship.

Today Mark takes pride in excelling in school, being a good father and sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Eventually he hopes to pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D. in a mathematics-related subject. He also makes time to give back by working at homeless shelters and sharing his story through speaking engagements. Last June, he gave the commencement address at his graduation from Seattle Central which happened to be the four-year anniversary of his sobriety. He recently spoke at the 17th annual King County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Legislative Forum and YouthCare’s annual fundraising luncheon. Mark says, “For me, giving back is doing the right thing. Love was given to me freely and if I don’t share love with others freely, then I am forgetting where I come from.”


Ashley AndelianAshley Andelian
William P. and Ruth Gerberding/Early Identification Program Scholar
Linguistics

Ashley’s goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in linguistics and become a college professor in that field.


Fabiola ArroyoFabiola Arroyo
Samuel E. Kelly Scholar
Business Administration, Biology

A senior from Sultan, Washington, Fabiola Arroyo has made a tremendous impact both on campus and in the community during her time at the UW. She was a member of the Student Diversity Coalition that led the efforts to pass a diversity course requirement for all UW undergraduates last year. She delivers educational outreach services to middle and high school students as a lead student ambassador for the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity Recruitment and Outreach team. She is also the assistant director for the ASUW La Raza Commission.

Fabiola’s accomplishments do not end there. She worked two summer internships with Boeing and performed infectious disease research at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute. She also received the NASA Space Grant Program’s Dovie Samuelson Scholarship and a UW Honors Undergraduate Scholarship.

Study abroad has been a large part of Fabiola’s educational experience as well. She participated in programs that took her to both India and the UK. It was in India where she discovered her inspiration to someday start a local health clinic and medicinal herb garden in Southern California that will serve Latinos who may not trust modern medicine, don’t qualify for aid or are faced with other factors preventing them from getting treatment.

After graduation, Fabiola plans to attend dental school and focus her studies on the relationship between nutrition, natural healing, overall health and dental health. In addition to starting a health clinic, she may also explore opening her own company that will provide healthy and affordable food options and reconnect people to the indigenous foods of their ancestors. Fabiola says, “I may be getting a dual degree in business administration and biology, but that is just the surface. Underneath is an entrepreneur-like spirit with a passion for natural healing through nutrition and dental health, and advocating for the injustices I see people face all around me.”


Taylor BoydTaylor Boyd
Dr. Millie Russell Scholar
Neurobiology

After graduation, Taylor plans to begin work on her MD-PhD degree with a concentration on HIV and AIDS research. Her eventual goal is to become a medical doctor in nonprofit hospitals and clinics as well as a principal investigator of a research laboratory.


DiAndre CampbellDiAndre Campbell
University of Washington Athletic Scholar
Communication, Political Science

DiAndre currently serves as Vice President for the Washington Student-Athlete Advisory Committee where he helps coordinate community outreach programs.


Adrian M. CepedaAdrian M. Cepeda
Bank of America Scholar
Business Administration (Finance), Certificate of International Studies in Business

Adrian plans to go to graduate school for an MBA and continue gaining valuable experience in his current work as a business analyst.


Lorina CrainLorina Crain
Robert T. and Nancy J. Knight Scholar
Business Administration, Informatics

Lorina is excited to enter the workforce full time, continuing to pursue career options that overlap business and technical design.


Damon J. CunninghamDamon J. Cunningham
Robert T. and Nancy J. Knight Scholar
American Indian Studies, Anthropology

Damon intends to go into education and become an elementary school teacher in his Native community.


Ha DoanHa Doan
Educational Opportunity Program Celebration Scholar
Biochemistry

Ha was born in an Indonesian refugee camp to a single mother who had fled from Vietnam several years earlier. When she was six years old they came to the United States, but life as immigrants was not easy. Ha went to school, learned English and spent much of her free time at the local Boys and Girls Club while her mother worked restaurant jobs to provide for the small family. Growing up without a father figure and helping her mother navigate language barriers in a new country forced her to become independent very quickly.

Ha worked hard to get accepted to the University of Washington, but when she became a college student, life got even more complicated. She had to balance schoolwork, work study jobs and a two-hour commute every day. Her grades suffered initially, but she bounced back to steadily increase her success in the classroom. She also did undergraduate research in the pathology department and co-authored a peer-reviewed publication. Today she is a junior majoring in biochemistry.

As the first person in her family to attend college, Ha’s dream is to earn the highest degree she possibly can and plans to continue her education in a professional school. Ultimately Ha would like work in research or development for a major company or university. She also hopes to become a mentor for children who use the Boys and Girls Club.

Ha relies on financial aid and loans to pay for her UW education, but until tonight had never received a scholarship. She had been too busy working and lacked the confidence to even apply. It wasn’t until she received an email earlier this year with the news that she was eligible for an EOP scholarship did she gain courage to submit the application. Little by little, she continues to persevere. Ha says, “I know life is full of hardships and obstacles, but I am prepared to take them on and overcome them one-by-one.”


Sharayah LaneSharayah Lane
Del Rio Global Citizens Scholar
Law, Societies & Justice; Communication

As a Del Rio Global Citizens Scholar, Sharayah will study abroad through a program hosted by the School of Social Work: The Sankofa Experience in Ghana – Exploration of Race & Identity Development in a Cross Cultural Exchange.


Siyu LuSiyu Lu
Gary D. Kimura Family Scholar
Business Administration (Accounting), Certificate of International Studies in Business

Siyu will work towards a graduate degree in real estate economics and a Certified Public Accountant license. She would like to use that knowledge to work towards solutions to working class poverty.


Alonso Ponce-MoranAlonso Ponce-Moran
Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program Legacy Scholar
Political Science

Alonso intends to go to law school and work towards protecting underrepresented minorities.


Elizabeth PringElizabeth Pring
Educational Opportunity Program Celebration Scholar
Political Science

Elizabeth hopes to attend law school or go into public policy focusing on health care and poverty in underrepresented communities.


Ibette ValleIbette Valle
Lydia A. Gonzales Scholar
Pre-Science

After graduation, Ibette plans on moving to Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico) to help underrepresented communities through both non-profit and government organizations.


Richard VansiclenRichard Vansiclen
Educational Opportunity Program Celebration Scholar
Communication

Richard is a champion boxer and hopes to go to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

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