Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

Martin Scholars History

2015 marked the 20-year anniversary of the Martin Family Foundation scholarships. In this celebration publication, many scholarship recipients share how the Martin Family Foundation’s support has impacted their lives (please also see the UAA article celebrating this milestone).

 


Scholars History by Year

2018

Mohammed Mahdi Alghezi

Mohammed Alghezi

Mohammed Mahdi Alghezi
Shoreline Community College
2018 Martin Honors Scholar

Mohammed’s dream to become a neurosurgeon is not a mere childish fantasy. While he was an avid and curious reader during his childhood, it was in October 2009, when his uncle was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease that his passion for neurobiology was ignited. His dream began to see the light after receiving a scholarship to Damascus medical school, the most prestigious school in Syria. However, during his first year in medical school, the civil war broke the harmony of his life. His college studies were in constant conflict with the movements of fear and changing nests. Eventually, unable to attend school, he started tutoring high school students in the morning and worked at his uncle’s clinic by day. Being deprived of his studies and needing to escape the suffocating silence of the night, where sounds of children’s peevish whines mixed with the echoes of angry bullets, he found solace in self-studying.

Despite his efforts to break the chains of despair with the strength of resilience, his family was forced to succumb to the successive death threats by terrorists and were forced to leave home. He crossed the Syrian borders and watched as he grew further away from the tenderness and warmth of his homeland. Living among a community of orphans, elderly and destitute people, he wanted to find a way to share the warmth of optimism. So, he found an opportunity to volunteer as a paramedic with the Lebanese Red Cross inside the camp, where he delivered necessary medication to the patients. In return, the hymns of joy and happiness quenched his desiccated soul.

After 5 months of being a camp refugee, he was fortunate to be embraced by the kindness of Seattle where he returned to college with renewed focus. At Shoreline Community College, he pursued an Associate degree in Biology with honors. He has been the vice president of the pre-med club for a year. He currently volunteers as medical interpreter and caregiver for senior and Alzheimer patients. Throughout his experience with the American health system, he realizes the urge to provide patients, regardless of their ethnicity or immigration status, with affordable medical assistance. Therefore, his goal is to be an active member of public health organizations that devote themselves to the health and well-being of the unfortunate communities.

Liban Hussein

Liban Hussein

Liban Hussein
Highline College
2018 Martin Honors Scholar

Born in Columbus, Ohio to Somali immigrant parents, Liban never thought he would earn an Associate’s degree in engineering or be accepted into the University of Washington’s Electrical Engineering program. With many life-changing events occurring frequently, moving from state-to-state seeking better opportunities became a norm and adjusting to unfamiliar academic and social settings proved to be all the more arduous. The road has been extremely difficult, with obstacles constantly obstructing Liban from reaching his goals. After all, he was a first-generation Somali-American student with little to no understanding of how to go about navigating the turbulent academic waters that would soon make themselves apparent.

College was an ideal instilled into Liban at a young age as his own parents’ education had been limited in Somalia. To let the challenges ahead get to him and quit meant not only failure for himself, but for his entire family. He believed that to quit meant that he was not putting in 100% of his effort into the very thing his parents had so desired for his family, namely, an education to help not only Liban succeed as an individual, but for the many generations to come. To truly make good of the sacrifices his parents made for him, Liban had to make use of every opportunity that presented itself.

Liban joined the Running Start program at Highline College as a junior in high school, as well as the ACE Mentor Program in which high school students like himself worked on a year-long project with actual engineers and present their final projects to local engineering companies and business executives. Furthermore, he worked as a Math Academic Excellence Workshop Facilitator in the Highline College MESA, where he created weekly workshops to address student confusions and concerns. At Highline College, he took advantage of many other opportunities, such as working as a Mathematics Tutor, as well as serving as the President of the National Society of Black Engineers Chapter, the first of its kind in a Washington community college. In addition to this, Liban conducted laser research with a team of 5 students and his physics professor to build a Fabry-Perot Interferometer. As for social work, Liban has worked as a lead junior event organizer and interpreter for non-profit organizations, working to help individuals like himself around the world receive basic necessities.

It seems that a tide is turning and that the possibilities are endless for Liban to pursue his dreams. Liban’s goal is to ultimately use his degree in Electrical Engineering to rebuild his homeland in Somalia, namely by revolutionizing the renewable energy sector. Although electrical engineering is Liban’s highest aspiration, he wishes to do more than this, namely by bridging the gaps between different cultures and peoples. At Highline College, he has been involved in several dialogues and tribal talks, bridging gaps between Somalis, Ethiopians, and many others. We live in a troubled world, and Liban has learned through his dialogues with students and staff alike, positive change can spring into existence, regardless of the discussion’s length. Education is key to making a positive impact, and by earning a degree in Electrical Engineering, Liban will work to not only make the lives of those easier in the Horn of Africa, but, ultimately, the world.

Liban’s Tips for Future Applicants:
Be genuine and passionate when reflecting on the required essays! Tell your story, detailing past struggles and how you’ve overcome them. Many of our journey’s have been bumpy, and we’ve needed help along the path from others, among them loved ones and friends. Mention how these individuals have helped you in the process of achieving success.

Christopher Leyva Vera

Christopher Leyva Vera

Christopher Leyva Vera
Skagit Valley College
2018 Martin Honors Scholar

Originally from Tijuana, Mexico, Christopher and his family moved to Whidbey Island in 2003. He went on to graduate from high school in 2012. He took some time off from school until finally deciding to head back to school in 2015 after becoming a DACA beneficiary.

Christopher enrolled at Skagit Valley College in the Fall of 2015 and quickly became involved on campus, serving on various clubs, committees, and other organizations on campus. He served as Student Body President of the Whidbey Island Campus of Skagit Valley College. He was also the Vice President and Secretary of his Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Other clubs he was involved with included Rainbow Alliance, DREAMers Club, and Journalism Club. Committees were also of importance, and that is why he served as a student representative in the following: Student Tech Fee Committee, Services & Activities Fee Committee, Diversity Committee, as well as Student Services Committee. He was employed on campus too, serving as a Program Board Coordinator under the campus’ Student Life office. As a student leader he lead several projects that helped his local community, organizing food and clothes drives to help those who needed it the most. His schedule kept him busy but his grades never suffered — he maintained a 4.0 throughout it all, making the honor roll every quarter he attended Skagit Valley College, winning a President’s medal from his college for this achievement.

He received the highest honor at Skagit Valley College, going on to win the Yates “Student of the Year” Award. His scholastic work resulted in a departmental award from the Social Sciences department at Skagit Valley College as well. Christopher was also a part of the 2018 All-Washington Academic Team; he was a top ranking member and received a medal from the Governor’s office. He has accumulated over 1,500 hours of community service work while attending school full-time. Due to his scholastic and community service endeavors, he has gone on to win various scholarships and other awards — both local and national.

Christopher credits his parents with inspiring him to go above and beyond just simply being a student. He watched as they worked tirelessly to provide both him and his brother with a future in this country. All of his achievements thus far are because of those sacrifices his parents made early on. He aims to succeed in all that he does to show not only his gratitude, but also prove to them that their hard work was not in vain and has paid off — his success does not only belong to him, but also to his family.

Christopher has been admitted to the School of Social Work and hopes to graduate with a Bachelor’s in Social Welfare, double minoring in Human Rights and Law, Societies, and Justice. He wants to continue working and being a part of programs and organizations that provide services that focus on helping disenfranchised minority groups, working towards a much more inclusive perspective that aims to connect individuals of all diverse backgrounds and experiences with the tools necessary for their own success within our society.

Christopher’s Tips for Future Applicants:
Opportunities, no matter how small they may seem to you, can open up doors for your future. Get involved both on campus and off to differentiate yourself from others. Being a great student goes far beyond just grades, it’s about how you apply all that you’ve learned in the classroom in the endeavors you choose to take on in life outside your classes.

Cara Stacy

Cara Stacy

Cara Stacy
Highline College
2018 Martin Honors Scholar

Cara recently graduated Highline College with her Associate of Arts, emphasizing in chemistry. She began at Highline to earn her high school diploma through the Pathway to College program. Throughout her freshman and sophomore years, Cara actively participated in the TRiO Student Support and Retention Program. She was asked to join TRiO’s student staff as Lead Tutor, working with low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities. Cara has trained with Highline College’s Math Resource Center and earned certification as a Level Three Master Certified Tutor. She seeks to be involved with biochemical research, and is planning to major in biochemistry when she transfers to the University of Washington. Her ultimate goal is to improve the lives of others, particularly in marginalized groups, through research and service.

Cara had started her journey at Highline College as a high school dropout, having overcome substance abuse and homelessness. After reaching rock bottom, she received treatment and began her life over again with a renewed sense of purpose. Cara has been involved with Oxford House Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides housing to those in recovery from substance abuse. For this nonprofit, she has served as secretary of Chapter 15 in Washington State. Additionally, Cara has been a member of Justice Scholars Society of Change, a club at Highline that encourages community and campus involvement in students impacted by the justice system. Through overcoming her personal struggles, Cara has developed perseverance and integrity that has contributed to her educational success. Cara hopes, by sharing her story, to eliminate the stigma associated with substance abuse. She seeks to continue serving others as she transitions to the University of Washington, and is excited to discover where her journey will take her.

Cara’s Tips for Future Applicants:
Take advantage of on campus and off campus resources. Do not be afraid to share both your successes and your failures.

David Zarate

David Zarate

David Zarate
Yakima Valley College
2018 Martin Honors Scholar

David Zarate was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia. After the passing of his father, Zarate’s mother decided to move his family to the United States – first settling in East Wenatchee, WA and later Miami, FL. After graduating from high school in 2010, he worked a series of jobs and was unable to pursue higher education due to his immigration status and financial burdens. When president Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in June 2012, Zarate saw an opportunity to do more. He enrolled part-time at Miami Dade College and began working on his prerequisite courses to pursue a degree in chemistry. After having relocated to different parts of the country and having attended different community colleges, Zarate’s experiences as an immigrant and minority showed him a new goal: to pursue a degree in Computer Science with a focus on Data Science as a way to create change in the community. Zarate deeply believes in the power of information, and how this can help tear down barriers and narrow the divisions in our country. On June 2018, Zarate graduated with a DTA in Computer Science from Yakima Valley College and starting this fall will be pursuing a degree in Computer Science at the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering.

Jade Cutter

Jade Cutter
Tacoma Community College
2018 Martin Achievement Scholar

Jade’s passion for atomic physics and space flight began at a young age, spurred by Brian Greene and her grandfather’s innovative work as a manager for Boeing. As a child, she sat on the kitchen counter multiplying fractions to bake half-recipes with her grandfather, and spent evenings with her mother in secondhand bookshops reading voraciously. Growing up, she was an avid Girl Scout and loved the outdoors.

However, her potential would not be realized until much later, as her late teen years were spent struggling with addiction and homelessness. At nineteen, Jade became pregnant, but soon lost her daughter due to poor health. At twenty, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Her fight with it was brief and successful, but it cost her her fertility. The following years were spent recovering and training at an aikido dojo, and remembering her old passions for engineering.

At twenty-four, Jade returned to college with renewed focus. She is pursuing a Bachelor of both Electrical Engineering and Industrial Systems Engineering, with a concentration in photonics. She has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa for two years and was elected the Public Affairs officer of TCC’s Engineering Club. She oversees major club projects and acts as a liaison between the club and her community. Jade also volunteers for local kids’ science fairs and supervised a regional science team competition. She has been invited to intern at a forensic engineering company and is excited to start field work before even finishing her associate’s.

She currently trains tutors and tutors students herself at the school’s Math and Resource Center, and hopes to one day to work with a major spaceflight contractor, assisting with shielding spacecraft electronics from cosmic rays or advancing photonic laser propulsion. Jade believes the best approach to eliminating gender-based discrimination in the scientific community is for more driven, determined women to enter the industry and prove their competency. She joins the field knowing that every obstacle she conquers is one the next generation may not have to suffer.

Jennifer Franzen

Jennifer Franzen
Everett Community College
2018 Martin Achievement Scholar

Jennifer is currently attending Everett Community College and is part of the college’s Honors program there. Additionally, as part of the Honors program, Jennifer will be completing a capstone project on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year. She plans to transfer to the University of Washington in Fall 2019, where she intends to major in both Philosophy and Mathematics. Furthermore, she is an active member in the campus’ German club and plans to minor in Germanics. Beyond that, she hopes to earn her master’s degree in Library Science to become a librarian.

Before she started at Everett Community College in the spring of 2016 at the age of 25, Jennifer had been out of school since she was thirteen, having dropped out due to severe anxiety and panic attacks. For much of her adult life Jennifer had felt as if she was too far behind to have any hope of catching up, both academically and socially. However, overcoming this feeling, she was eventually able to find the will and motivation to give college a shot. Time and money were concerns for her, so, in an attempt to reduce the total number of classes she would need to take, she self-studied all the mathematics that she missed over the years. After spending several months teaching herself math, she was successful in placing directly into calculus. While studying, Jennifer discovered she really enjoyed math, and, as a result, eventually decided on Mathematics as one of her majors. Her newfound love of math also motivated her to apply for a peer tutoring position on campus shortly after the start of her first quarter. Through tutoring she helps her fellow students in math for both the campus’ drop-in tutoring center as well as the TRiO program.

Catherine (Kate) Tanski

Catherine (Kate) Tanski
North Seattle College
2018 Martin Achievement Scholar

Kate grew up on the coast of Maine, spent ten years working on boats, and is now going to school for mechanical engineering.

Her goals as an engineer are not only to improve the efficiency and accessibility of objects and systems, but to use her education and experiences to open the door of opportunity for as many people as she can. Many years of exploration have taught Kate that she practices her values—normalizing learning challenges, non-traditional skillsets, and compassionate communication—through engineering.

When Kate was growing up she had a very difficult relationship with formal education. Instead of going to college, she went to trade school for traditional wooden boatbuilding. Working in various roles (as marine carpenter, experiential educator, deckhand, mate, assistant engineer, and marine regulatory administrator) gave her the chance to explore practical, non-academic experiences that helped her learn how she learns, and how to teach others to teach her.

Boats, shipmates, students, and the ocean have taught Kate the most valuable lessons she’s learned so far. Those lessons—caring for people and the ecosystems around us, patience with the unexpected, the vital importance of regularly learning new things, that every person has something to contribute, and that every experience has something to teach her—combined with her varied experiences, have brought Kate here, to school for mechanical engineering.

She’s finally figured out how to combine her values of service, compassion, and hard work with her strengths of creative problem solving, incremental systems improvement, and mechanical aptitude. Kate is looking forward to the adventures to come.

Kate’s Tips for Future Applicants:
There are a lot of people out there who would love to help you figure out how to write the essays, manage the deadlines, and follow all the guidelines for scholarships. They want to see you succeed. Connect with them. Nurture your community, and lean on it when you need a hand. Dream big, work hard, and ask for help when you need it.

2017

Taylor Moreno

Taylor Moreno
Grays Harbor College
2017 Martin Honors Scholar

Growing up and into his first years of high school, Taylor was very focused on the here-and-now. His future seemed too distant to concern himself with, so he remained content with doing well academically and helping those around him in his church and community. With career choices ranging from web designer to astronomer, Taylor hadn’t found a clear life focus. He just knew that he wanted to do something that would impact people’s lives.

A few days after celebrating his 15th birthday in January 2013, Taylor’s mother was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In the course of nearly three years, she battled that cancer four times. During these times, Taylor acted as her full-time caregiver and stayed with her at virtually every hospital and clinic she went to. He thus gained the opportunity to talk with many different healthcare professionals as well as many cancer patients, their families, and their caregivers. After learning the stories and motivations behind so many patients and practitioners alike, Taylor realized that a passion for the medical sciences had grown in him and decided to focus on it.

On September 21, 2015, his first day of college became his last day with his mom. Although the whole experience was incredibly painful, Taylor says his faith, family, and friends helped get him through it and consequently gain the motivation he has today. Taylor is now transferring to major in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in order to prepare for a career in medical research. The academic journey ahead will be a long one, but he is looking forward to it as he explores the impacts he can make to better himself, help those around him, and one day hopefully join the fight against cancer.

Max Steiner

Max Steiner
Seattle Central College
2017 Martin Honors Scholar

Born in Boston, Max grew up in Austria before ultimately moving to Seattle after his twentieth birthday. Based on his background in music, he initially aspired to develop behaviors, cultivate a mindset, and make connections that would allow him to advance his musicianship. In that pursuit, Max spent five years on practicing, rehearsing, recording, performing and touring while covering finances with part-time work.

Through a recent string of experiences abroad, Max’s focus shifted to the natural sciences, in particular chemical engineering. He quickly realized that it offered many aspects he appreciated: collaboration between experts of different fields, direct application of skill toward a specific project or product, opportunities for independent research, relevance in a larger societal context. He was hooked. In one form or another, Max had encountered these qualities in music as well but had never been able to fully develop them on his own. With chemical engineering, however, he seemed to have found a definitive pathway to exercise those principles he deemed important personally as well as professionally.

The two years Max attended Seattle Central College taught him more than what the required coursework had to offer. He was inspired by the diversity of the student body and each of his cohort’s unique background. It pushed him all the more to reach out to get involved: he worked in student leadership, tutored chemistry, and math at MESA, assisted as a TA in a Research Writing class, participated in a chemistry research project, and was employed as an assistant laboratory technician in the SCC chemistry labs. Max’s studies and experiences undoubtedly shaped his long term intent as a chemical engineer: he plans to contribute to advances and applications of clean energy technology. This path is intimately related to environmental sustainability issues in which he hopes to gain a voice. Max feels that completing his undergraduate degree at UW is a significant step toward achieving that goal.

Erin Herman-Kerwin

Erin Herman-Kerwin
Olympic College
2017 Martin Achievement Scholar

Erin is a driven woman motivated by her past and inspired by what she can do for her community as a future doctor and statistician. she is a woman who refuses to be defined by her personal struggles of overcoming domestic violence and chronic Hep-C. She believes it is important to speak honestly and openly about these experiences to destigmatize domestic violence and blood borne diseases. Her doctors were an integral part of Erin recovering from Hep-C and restoring her human dignity. This experience opened her eyes to the potential of compassionate care but also underscored the profound inequality in health care access in Washington State. After she and her doctors fought together to secure treatment she has vowed to commit her life and academic career to breaking down boundaries between patients and the care they desperately need. She believes safe and affordable health care is a human right but often considered a luxury.

Her dream of increasing access to health care with statistics and medicine would not be possible without a strong education. Olympic College offered Erin a rare opportunity to rebuild her academic foundation. After community college, she is attending the University of Washington to major in Statistics. There she will learn the tools necessary to be involved in the medical solution, redesigning and evaluating clinical trial results in preventative health care and affordable medications.

Today her experiences inspire her and push her to reach beyond herself and into community service. She volunteers at a women’s health clinic as a health advocate, tutors developmental mathematics, and volunteered at the 2016 Seattle King County Community Clinic. Her pursuits in academia are so much more than a degree or a career. It is a validation there is a life after crisis and the key exists within healthy communities, and education.

Sharon Jang

Sharon Jang
Tacoma Community College
2017 Martin Achievement Scholar

Sharon is currently attending Tacoma Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Washington in the fall of 2018. Her ultimate educational goal is to receive a terminal degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a specialization in audiology or speech-language pathology.

There are several reasons why she finds this field of study fascinating and inspiring. One reason close to her heart is the Deaf community’s development of strong resilience in a world filled with hearing individuals. Similarly, what she finds most inspiring about audiology and speech-language pathology is knowing that her interventions will help facilitate an individual’s process of communication and that those skills will help them throughout their everyday life.

Along with her tenacious dedication and motivation to this field, Sharon’s affinity for a sustainable focus in extracurricular activities led her to demonstrate the continuous ability to step out of her comfort zone. This includes starting a club that works on a small scale to increase raising awareness of the North Korean humanitarian crisis by defining North Korea by its people rather than its politics. At the same time, she is enthusiastic to continually advance her leadership skills as she takes on an officer position in Phi Theta Kappa. Sharon took this opportunity to implement the leadership skills she is learning with a network of fellow scholars and servant leaders and to expose herself to another facet to increase productivity and cultivate her school community. She is beyond thrilled to continue advancing and strengthening her leadership skills as she imagines the greater number of opportunities she will be open to when transferring to UW.

Tam Mai

Tam Mai
South Seattle College
2017 Martin Achievement Scholar

Tam Mai was born and raised in Viet Nam, a developing country, for 18 years. Her family moved to the United States two years ago. Living in a different country has not been easy for her. As an immigrant, Tam has had to face many challenges and difficulties such as differences in culture, language, finances, the education system, etc., but the most difficult thing for her is the language. When Tam started school in the US, she didn’t understand anything or anyone. She felt like she didn’t belong to this country. However, she learned never to give up on her dream. That’s why she decided to take ESL classes for one year and just focus on English. After a year working hard to learn the language, she is able to attend her college classes and do well. She feels this experience has taught her that persistence will always pay off eventually.

Working on computers and learning about programming is Tam’s favorite thing to do. That’s why she is getting an Associate of Science degree at South Seattle College. Then she plans to transfer to the University of Washington to get a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. With one more year before transferring, she is working hard to maintain good grades. She also spends a lot of time volunteering at South Seattle College and within her community to create a good environment where she and her family live. In the future, Tam wants to use her knowledge of Computer Science to create new education applications for children, so they can study wherever and whenever they want, which will give them the opportunity to develop their perceptions and personalities.

Tekhong Meach

Tekhong Meach
South Seattle College
2017 Martin Achievement Scholar

Born and raised in Cambodia, Tekhong Meach immigrated to the United States in 2014. He started working as a food assembler before he began his educational journey at South Seattle College in Winter 2016. Despite his language barrier, he decided to go back to school because of his passion in science classes. Eager to get involved and learn more about resources available on campus, he joined the TRiO Student Success Services program, the AANAPISI program, the Women in STEM club, and the Ready Set Transfer Academy. Those resources have helped advance his academic understanding and encourage him to keep working hard to achieve his goals. With his outstanding academic performance, Tekhong is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Tekhong is working two part-time jobs while attending school full-time. Besides his off-campus job on weekends, he also works as a peer tutor at TRiO, where he has the opportunity to work with his peer students. He helps explain and share his knowledge of math and physics to his peers who have difficulties understanding the lectures in class. He helps them to better understand the subjects, gain academic and educational support, and become more self-reliant students. With his desire to help improve his community, Tekhong also volunteered as a study zone tutor at KCLS library. He worked with kids and adults and helped them improve their math skills. Tekhong is majoring in Computer Science. His interest in the field of Artificial Intelligence inspires him to explore and learn about programming languages. He constantly expands his curiosity through research in the AI field. He is looking forward to participating in undergraduate research at UW to obtain more knowledge in AI. He wants to use his knowledge in AI to explore more innovations that will positively impact and help improve the community.

2016

Musa Abdi

Musa Abdi
South Seattle College
2016 Martin Achievement Scholar

Born in Ethiopia, Musa Abdi grew up in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya where his family moved after his father’s death. Life was difficult in Kakuma which has been described as “equal parts prison and exile.” Musa witnessed the daily toll that lack of medical care wrought — death during childbirth, improper use of medications, and death from treatable diseases such as malaria — and he decided he would become a doctor.

In 2013, Musa and his family immigrated to the United States where their lives improved in terms of physical amenities and access to healthcare. However, they struggled financially and emotionally. Musa’s mother became disheartened. She was a single parent in a foreign culture where she could not communicate or get a job. In a short time, she and her family were evicted because they could not afford the rent.

As a high school senior, Musa shouldered some of the worry. However, rather than discouraging him, these hardships motivated him to work harder and to reach farther in his education. In Fall 2014, even though he was not yet eligible for in-state tuition, Musa enrolled at South Seattle College (SSC). He had been awarded SSC’s 13th Year Scholarship which, along with financial aid, helped pay tuition. At orientation, Musa affiliated with TRiO and was soon hired as a peer tutor. He enjoys helping and encouraging students who seek him out for drop-in tutoring and advice.

Musa seizes every opportunity to enhance his education, participating in the 2015 Summer Medical Dental Education Program (SMDEP) at UW, Phi Theta Kappa, and SSC’s Ready, Set, Transfer Program for STEM majors. He also gives back to his community — volunteering regularly at St. Mary’s Food Bank, serving as interpreter and instructor at parent education workshops for new immigrants, and participating in SSC community service events. In 2016, Musa was selected for the All-Washington Academic Team and was awareded the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship.

As a result of SMDEP and additional research of healthcare careers, Musa plans to become a pharmacist. Through his career, he will be able to relieve suffering and educate patients. He will be able to provide for his family. He will be able to mentor and encourage immigrants, refugees, first generation college students, and all students who hope to contribute to society through a healthcare career. Through times of adversity, education has been Musa’s lifeline. He notes, “I loved school so much from a young age. I was very dedicated to my studies. I never wasted my time; these habits became part of my life and to this date is still my first priority.”

Andre Bland

Andre Bland
North Seattle College
2016 Martin Honors Scholar

After completing his Associate of Science degree at North Seattle College this year, Andre E. Bland Jr. was thrilled to be accepted into the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Washington. This is something he could not have imagined as a high school student. Andre’s plans for college were derailed when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Studying and learning while dealing with his mother’s sickness was challenging and Andre began to hate school, especially math an science classes. The death of his mother during his senior year made things even worse. He persevered and graduated from high school, but did not know what to do next. After taking time off from school, enrolling at North Seattle College gave him the opportunity to find an area of study that truly inspires him.

At North Seattle, Andre realized that to succeed, he would have to reinvent himself as a student. He started by taking classes he had struggled with in high school, vowing to master the material this time. Success in algebra led to success in progressively more difficult math and science classes. In physics, Andre saw the way math and science could be used to solve real world problems, and this drew him to engineering. Learning about electricity, he saw how advances in electrical energy technologies could help solve the world’s energy problems. These experiences converged into a plan to study electrical engineering.

Andre’s work earned him a place in the UW’s Electrical Engineering department. He was also awarded the 2016 NASA Space Grant scholarship for community college transfer students and invited to participate in the 2016 Seattle University SUMmer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). In the REU, he co-wrote “Digital Patters and Dominance in Base-3/2,” which he and his research partners hope to publish soon.

At the UW, Andre will prepare for a career in which he can use engineering to positively impact the world. He plans to work in the electric automobile industry, where he can help develop environmentally friendly modes of transportation. He is a member of the UW’s EcoCAR3 team that aims at making a 2016 Chevy Camaro more environmentally friendly and has joined the UW chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He will also participate in programs intended to bring minority students into STEM majors. He hopes that he can use his story to help mentor other students who may be struggling in math and science classes like he once did.

Jane Harrell

Jane Harrell
Tacoma Community College
2016 Martin Achievement Scholar

Jane is currently a sophomore at Tacoma Community College. She will transfer to the University of Washington in the fall of 2017 for a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Atmospheric Science.

Her interest in atmospheric science began in 2012 when Jane and her husband purchased a commercial fishing boat in Southeast Alaska. Their first season she quickly realized how dependent commercial fishermen are on the weather. In 2015 their business was crippled by an unusually warm season that fueled a massive algal bloom along the West Coast. When Jane discovered that the unusual frequency of large blooms is thought to be related to warmer climate patterns, she knew she wanted to focus her studies on climatology. She hopes her research will help industries dependent on climate prepare for the effects of climate change.

Jane was a young girl when she discovered her passion for the natural sciences. Going to college was never a question, but she started her family young in life and decided to temporarily set her educational dreams aside to raise her two daughters. With both of her girls now in school, Jane has returned to her dream of attaining a higher education and hopes her academic journey will inspire her daughters to pursue their educations in STEM.

Jane has been recognized as a High Honors student at TCC. She enjoys volunteering for Tacoma Metro Parks helping to restore the natural habitat of Tacoma. She is a volunteer tutor with Tacoma Community House, a non-profit organization that provides math and ESL courses, citizenship assistance, and job training to immigrants, refugees, and long-time community members. Upon transferring to UW-Seattle Jane plans to join UW’s student chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

Robert Pedersen

Robert (Bobby) Pedersen
South Seattle College
2016 Martin Achievement Scholar

At the age of 19, Bobby didn’t know if school was for him. Having failed out of Bellevue College twice due to active addiction, school just didn’t seem like a realistic pursuit; he had resigned himself to being a bartender for the rest of his life. Little did he know that big changes were right around the corner!

Flash forward seven years, a stint in rehab, a wife, daughter, and a house later, and Bobby was finding his job in restaurant management unfulfilling. It paid the bills, but something in him yearned to go back to school and to try to accomplish more. He wanted to not only be a good example for his daughter, but also hopefully create a means to provide for her with more ease and get more time with her. With a vague idea of what he wanted to do, Bobby enrolled in South Seattle College near his young family’s new home, and began what would be a journey of growth unlike any he had known before.

Through taking classes, Bobby discovered his love and aptitude for mathematics. He decided that long term, he would like to teach math, but wondered if there might be another career path he could follow rather than going straight into teaching. After a couple of quarters testing the waters, and some inspiration from wonderful teachers, Bobby landed on engineering, and has been enthralled by the many science classes he has taken as prerequisites since. He currently tutors math at South Seattle, reaffirming his passion for helping others, and his long term goal of becoming a teacher. Bobby looks forward to the future for more opportunities to learn, grow, and hopefully to give back along the way.

Patricia Saya

Patricia Saya
Highline College
2016 Martin Honors Scholar

Born and raised in the Philippines, Patricia moved to the United States at age 10, carrying her ambitions heavily influenced by her background. Living in a tightly knit family, she was inspired by her grandfather to value opportunities that education brought when she learned about how he made his way out of poverty through teaching himself how to read. Her experiences and background in the Philippines led her to strive for excellence in every aspect of her life when she moved to the US.

She built a strong foundation in high school by participating in the International Baccalaureate program, teaching her how to maintain a balanced life with heavy course work, extracurricular activities and spending time with family. Continuing her education at Highline College, she became involved in and out of campus by becoming a Writing Consultant at the Highline Writing Center, becoming a member of Phi Theta Kappa, as well as volunteering in various departments at Swedish Medical Center as a Health Scholar. Through gaining clinical exposure, she fell in love with the relationships created between nurses and patients, and this reminded her of the way she helped take care of her grandfather when she was younger. That was when she knew nursing was her passion.

Patricia obtained her Associate’s in pre-nursing at Highline College with a 3.95 cumulative GPA, honors, and was accepted into the UW’s School of Nursing. She connected her experiences from her clinical background, strengthened communication skills at the Writing Center, and knowledge from her pre-nursing classes to see in a holistic perspective what she was passionate about. She is excited to start nursing school this fall to look for more opportunities that will allow growth and utilization of her skills that will help her become an active member of this new community.

Khatsini Simani

Khatsini Simani
Seattle Central College
2016 Martin Honors Scholar

Khatsini Simani is a Seattle native and a rising junior at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business where she will pursue an accounting option in the Fall of 2016. Her passions include economic empowerment, healthy food, and cycling.

As a Community Outreach and Fulfillment Coordinator at Alta Planning and Design and an Education Program Coordinator at the Cascade Bicycle Club, Khatsini taught hundreds of students, employers, and everyday people how to navigate the city by foot, bike, and bus. While biking, she finds that her focus, health, and overall happiness improves. She’s found this to be true both in her personal and academic life, having witnessed the detrimental effects of health-related illnesses and financial instability in her family. Her initial undergraduate career was interrupted early due to financial challenges. She used the opportunity to embark on a personal and academic journey that would transform the way she approached learning.

The continuous thread, she’s found, has been empowerment, education, and agency, themes that have sustained her during her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. From rediscovering her love of math to maintaining an A average in her business prerequisite courses, there have been few goals that have not required a can-do attitude and a strong will to overcome obstacles. Khatsini plans to pursue a career in accounting, to research and contribute to financial literacy education, and to continue to be an advocate for healthy lives for all. A long-time supporter and former youth participant of Food Education Empowerment and Sustainability Team (FEEST), she also serves as a board chair of the youth-led non-profit organization that introduced healthier food options in her life as a teen.

Khatsini is honored to be considered for the Martin Honors Scholarship and looks forward to contributing to the field of business and accounting during her academic career at the University of Washington.

2015

Clare Campbell

clare-campbell

Clare Campbell
Everett College
2015 Martin Honors Scholar

Her junior year, Clare had decided to drop out of high school. She was feeling very disillusioned with the public school system and her classes seemed meaningless to her. After weeks of nonattendance, she realized she wasn’t ready to give up on her ambition to do something challenging and meaningful with her life.

After exploring other options and discovering Running Start, Clare knew she had gotten back on the right track. She thrived in a college environment, and was inspired by the possibility that she’d one day be able to apply her coursework to practical contributions to science and society: she chose to major in chemical engineering. During her time at Everett College, she enjoyed getting involved by joining engineering club, and helping others at the walk-in tutoring center. Since transferring to the University of Washington, Clare has quickly taken advantages of opportunities such obtaining a position as a Junior Representative for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, joining a project to build a chemical reaction powered car, and working as an undergraduate researcher. She is eager to learn more about sustainable and renewable energy in her upcoming classes, as her goal is to enter the industry after obtaining her bachelor’s degree. She later plans to either get a degree in business and become a leader in industry, or conduct research in chemical engineering, depending on where her skills and knowledge would be most useful.

Mahboobeh Hosseini

mahboobeh-hosseiniMahboobeh Hosseini
Bellevue College
2015 Martin Achievement Scholar

Mahboobeh was born on October 1993 in Tehran, Iran. Living through many difficulties she grew up with one goal and that was achieving success through her education. Her mother was the one that always inspired her to not give up, to accept her abilities and prove them to the community. Decision of becoming Christian finally pushed her family to escape to Turkey. However, because of their refugee status, she and her sister were not allowed to attend school. Although it was not easy for her to accept this situation, it gave her the opportunity to acquire new experiences. Teaching children English, learning how to play guitar, and being a leader in youth group were activities that gave her the confidence through these times of struggle.

Mahboobeh and her family finally moved to United States on 2012. Having technical issues of her transcript, she was placed in the ninth grade. With the strong personality of being competitive and hardworking, the school decided to upgrade her to the higher level classes. She was late to graduate. Finally, she decided to go to iGrad Academy to be able to graduate faster. She achieved honors and scholarships through her high school and became selected as top students in her school district. Going through it all, she is eventually attending college.

She is currently in Bellevue College. Her main goal is to become a pharmacologist which gives her the opportunity to serve people in many ways. Every day she is studying with more enthusiasm and her new accomplishments gives her joy and motivation to continue her path.

Elizabeth Jatta

elizabeth-jattaElizabeth Jatta
Highline College
2015 Martin Honors Scholar

As the third of eight children, Elizabeth wanted to find a unique identity. In 2011, this search led her to leave a career in banking industry and emigrate from Gambia. As a first generation college student from a culture that is slowly embracing education and empowerment of girls, she is driven to strive for the top to inspire and care for herself, family, and communities.

Elizabeth graduated with honors from Highline College with an Associates in Biology. At Highline, Elizabeth was a MESA ambassador, an active member of Phi Theta Kappa and the association of Women in Science and Engineering, and volunteers at her local library. Through the Highline Honor Program, she led a multi-quarter project coordinating peers and off campus experts and was one of a very small number of students to ever present at the Highline Science Seminar, sharing research on the US healthcare system and a single-payer healthcare alternative. She represented Highline at a Legislative Voice Academy conference in Vancouver, WA. She was the recipient of Highline College’s most prestigious award at graduation, The 2015 Shirley B. Gordon Scholarship.

At the University of Washington, Elizabeth will work toward a degree in Public Health and Biology as her next step toward medical school. A Summer Medical and Dental Education Program at UW opened her eyes to social, ethical, and political issues in the medical world, and grounded her interest in public health. It taught her a new paradigm for seeing social determinants, healthcare disparity, and issues surrounding health as part of the greater healthcare system. Her dream is to become a physician to serve under-represented populations. Through medicine, she hopes to provide the care she lacked and the opportunities by which she has been blessed to others in the United States, Gambia and around the world.

Sarah Ann Phillips

sarah-phillipsSarah Ann Phillips
South Seattle College
2015 Martin Achievement Scholar

Attending a University seemed impossible for Sarah as a first generation college student. Her father barely graduated from high school, and her mother had not received a formal education in Cambodia due to living there during Khmer Rouge era. Sarah stepped up to provide for her little sister due to her parents’ alcohol and gambling addictions. As a result, her grades were not on par to her expectations and she left before finishing her Associate of Arts degree.

Sarah realized she wanted to go back to school after years of working as a hair stylist. Problem solving and attention to detail have been paramount in all that she has done. After taking a computer science class, she realized her passion for the subject. She was enthralled by the combination of math and logic in programming. Sarah wanted to combine her passion for computer science with her joy for teaching/ tutoring. Her dream is to become a computer science professor at the University of Washington.

Since her return to college, she has been a 3.9 student and is the President of the Women in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) organization at South Seattle College that helps recruit and retain female students in STEM majors. Sarah works at South Seattle College as a Mathematics Tutor and a Teaching Assistant. She enjoys volunteering as a panelist for Techbridge, an organization that inspires young girls to reach for STEM fields. Sarah Phillips plans to transfer the University of Washington in Autumn of 2016.

Keino Robinson

keino-robinsonKeino Robinson
Green River College
2015 Martin Honors Scholar

Keino Robinson grew up in Jamaica and saw first-hand the impacts of poverty and inadequate sanitation on his community. As a first-generation, non-traditional college student, Robinson found time to volunteer at Christ Community Free Clinic, and participated in the Summer Medical and Dental Enrichment program at the University of Washington. Keino plans to earn a Bachelor of Science in Public Health at the University of Washington, specifically focusing on Epidemiology and Health Services. Then, he wishes to further expand his graduate studies by completion of a double degree program to gain his Doctor of Medicine and Master’s of Public Health.

Keino was raised in Hendon Norwood, a rough inner city of Montego Bay. Through the guidance of his mother, Keino learned how to survive. It is from the support from his family, and friends that allows him to pursue his ambition of advancing the campaign for social justice in healthcare for others who have been denied this dignity. With the help of his family, Robinson was able to make the transition to the United States and with the assistance of the Green River College Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, he was able to navigate community college. Robinson has chosen Public Health as his major because it aligns with his career goal to ultimately improve health care in his home country, Jamaica. He wishes to improve healthcare in Jamaica by making health care policy reforms. Keino has the desire to work with people individually and as a community. He believes his undergraduate study in public health will allow him to explore health in a structured way. In the future he hopes to gain an internship at the Center for Clinical and Epidemiological Research (CCER) at the University of Washington to understand and promote quality healthcare in underserved and underrepresented populations.

Sugar Sylvain

sugar-sylvainSugar Sylvain
South Seattle College
2015 Martin Achievement Scholar

Sugar Sylvain began her collegiate career in 2009 at South Seattle College (Then, South Seattle Community College). Although she loved school and wanted to do well, she had other battles to overcome before her academic dreams could become tangible. In 2010, Sugar was arrested and convicted of drug possession in the State of Idaho. There, she was not only able to rebuild her life, but she found a passion for helping others.

During her incarceration, Sugar spent her free time volunteering in the prison’s Education Center. She took on the role of tutoring other offenders who were trying to obtain their GED. She found that, because she was in a similar situation as them, they were able to relate to her on a level unattainable to the Department of Correction staff. Because of this, Sugar views her past as her biggest asset.

Sugar returned to South Seattle College in 2014. Since then, she has consistently excelled in her classes, obtaining a 3.89 cumulative GPA. Beyond academics, Sugar works as a Developmental Math Tutor, is the Vice President of the school’s Women In STEM Club, and has been involved in the Chemistry Department as a Lab Assistant and a student authorized to conduct Chemistry demonstrations on campus. She also maintains a part-time job off campus.

Sugar will be applying to UW’s Aeronautical/Astronautic Engineering Program in the Fall of 2016. Sugar plans to move right into a graduate program upon graduation and eventually would like to pursue a career in the research and development of new airplanes. She looks forward to integrating herself, and her story, into the diverse student life of the Seattle campus. She hopes that her determination and perseverance act as a landmark to others, proving that it is never too late to change.

Austin Tugade

austin-tugadeAustin Tugade
South Seattle College
2015 Martin Honors Scholar

Austin and his family arrived in the United States on Christmas of 2010. Although he had been attending a university, he had to stop to help with his family’s immigration. After 3 years of working to help with the household of six and adapting to new cultures, he took the chance of going back to school through South Seattle College. He is currently working on his transfer associate’s degree.

He enjoys encouraging people to pursue a STEM field degree. He has been a tutor at MAST since Fall of 2014 and is a member of the Physics Committee with Win STEM. During winter quarter 2014, he worked with his instructor to design an information booth on Physics in South Seattle Community College’s STEM Fair. He enjoys being able to talk to people about why they should pursue those fields, and to gives them tips on how they can achieve that goal. He is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and with Ready-Set-Transfer Academy.

Experiencing the effects of natural calamities, and also exploring the natural beauty of those things below the surface of the water, he wants to pursue a double major in Geology-Earth and Space Sciences and Oceanography at the University of Washington. He wants to learn about the inner workings of our planet and to discover unseen areas; while also working to help with disaster prevention and calamity preparedness. These give him the drive to be able to maintain a high standard of academics, while involved in co-curricular activities.

In the short-term, he wants to increase his involvement with the community, get into a position with Win STEM to provide more information about the STEM fields, and join the STEM Fair to help improve the event. Academically, he wants to pursue a doctorate in Geology continuing to mentor others and to help them see the beauty of this world.

Uri Zvi

uri-zviUri Zvi
Highline College
2015 Martin Honors Scholar

Uri Zvi is an immigrant from Israel. Overcoming many family-related and financial hardships, Uri had to mature quickly and supported his family throughout high school. After completing his mandatory military service in Israel, Uri decided to take control of his life by immigrating to the US and opening his own a business. In 2012, after saving for tuition over several years, Uri was able to follow his dream and began his higher education at Highline Community College. In spite of the numerous obstacles -a language barrier, simultaneously balancing work and educational responsibilities, and difficulties in securing his permanent resident status – Uri was able to graduate from Highline with a 4.0 GPA. He will continue his education at the University of Washington starting Winter 2016.

Aware of his background and hardships as an immigrant, Uri is also involved in community and leadership activities. He is working as a Physics Teaching Assistant at Highline Community College. He is also working with the school’s financial aid office, assisting immigrants with special circumstances in securing financial aid. Uri hopes to become a research engineer in the biomedical field.

Passionate about science from a young age, he became interested in biomedical research at the age of 18, after his grandmother passed away due to bone cancer. Her traumatic death, along with attending urgent care seminars held by his mother, Israel’s first female paramedic, led him to pursue a career of saving and improving people’s lives. Uri is voluntarily taking part in genetic research and gaining valuable experience for the future through the Pallanck Lab at the Genome Science Department at the UW. He intends to obtain a Ph.D. in Bioengineering. Through participation in academic research, he hopes to contribute to ongoing medical breakthroughs, specifically in the fields of oncology, neurobiology, and immunology.

2014

Andrew Escobedo

andrew-escobedoAndrew Escobedo
South Puget Sound Community College
2014 Martin Honors Scholar

During junior year of high school, Andrew Escobedo entered Running Start through South Puget Sound Community College. He had been homeschooled through sophomore year. Although anxious about attending community college, he came to realize that his capability and aptitude were on par with the student body. Andrew was instantly taken in by the course materials and class discussion of Business 101, and entered the class eager to learn more. It helped him determine his career path. He visited the UW and met with staff at the Foster School of Business who recommended specific classes to improve his probability of being accepted.

Andrew is interested in a marketing focus due to its combination of advertising and psychology, both of which have never failed to hold his interest. “I see marketing as an outlet through which I can utilize my love for the human mind, strategy, persuasion, and art. I want a career that will challenge me mentally, one that includes variation, the study of human behavior, and social media …” Andrew is pursuing a BA in Business Administration with a Marketing Option. With this degree, he hopes that it will assure his future employers that he has attained an exceptional education.

Niloofar Ghodsian

niloufar-ghodsianNiloofar Ghodsian
South Seattle Community College
2014 Martin Achievement Scholar

Niloofar immigrated to the United States on October 2012. She came here to pursue her dream of going to university and continuing her education. Back in her country, Iran, she did not have the opportunity to enter a university because of her religion, so she moved to Turkey and sought refuge from the United Nation so she could come to America. She enrolled at South Seattle Community College six months after arriving to the U.S. and is currently working on her A.S. degree.

She tutors Math, Chemistry, and English in TRiO tutoring center at her college. This is a rewarding experience because she has the opportunity to work with students one on one and can see their progress. She also deepens her own understanding of the subjects through tutoring. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Ready Set Transfer for STEM major, and Women in STEM club.

Science classes are Niloofar’s favorites. Her desire to help people around her has added to her passion of science and has led her to choose the Environmental Health major. This major allows her to apply her knowledge in order to have a role in saving people’s lives. The University of Washington offers broad research programs that Niloofar wishes to be a part of, so she plans to transfer to the University of Washington Fall Quarter of 2015.

Katrin Hosseini

katrin-hosseiniKatrin Hosseini
Green River Community College
2014 Martin Achievement Scholar

Katrin was born in December, 1991 in Tehran, Iran. She was the eldest of her family. Despite of Katrin’s mother being the only parent who raises her two daughters, she developed a deep passion for education with her mother’s support. Her passion for learning extended beyond her classrooms and her curiosity led her to question the unchangeable Islamic rule that she followed. Katrin and her family ultimately made one of the biggest decisions of their lives and converted to Christianity. She then graduated from high school in 2009 determinant to get into medical school. Their religious freedom was restricted by the Iranian government.

Katrin and her family left Iran to Turkey and lived there as refugees for two years. The goals that she had for her future career came to an end in Turkey. Being that they were refugee, the Turkish did not let them attend schools. Katrin persevered and established short-term goals: learning Turkish, playing guitar, singing in choir, and volunteering. With great anticipation from United Nation, her family was finally able to embark the US in 2012.

Katrin enrolled in ESL classes at Green River Community College to strengthen her English skills. It was a big challenge in her life. However, instead of giving up, she was motivated to persevere into college level classes. It was such a joy for her family because she was the first college student. She is currently a tutor in the Math Learning Center. Whatever the barrier was, she overcame it because she keeps her goals in mind with positive self-determination. Helping people is her goal in life, and the dream of becoming a doctor fits for this goal perfectly. Education gives her the opportunity to become a doctor and serve the country that gave her the equal opportunity to grow.

Claudia Janeth Linares

claudia-linaresClaudia Janeth Linares
Highline Community College
2014 Martin Honors Scholar

Claudia was born in May 1994 in Los Angeles CA. She was raised by her single mother, an immigrant from El Salvador in a widely Latino immigrant community. During the second quarter at Highline College, her mother experienced a stress induced stroke. Claudia dropped her classes in order to help her mother recover.

With newfound motivation, Claudia returned to school rededicated to pursue a degree in Psychology to help her mother and others cope with stress, and determined to lead as a first generation Latina student. She began volunteering as a TRiO ambassador by serving and mentoring through Communities in Schools (CIS) to encourage “in dangered” high school student to graduate. She also worked as a tutor in the Highline Writing Center and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She believes that her involvement in her community has taught her compassion, love for humanity through faith, love and persistence.

This fall, Claudia will begin working towards a BS in Psychology. She has been hired as a tutor in the Odegaard Research Writing Center. Claudia wil continue mentoring students through CIS and will apply for the McNair Program to help her prepare for eventual grauate school at either the UW or UC-Berkeley Graduate School. Her goal is to research the effects of stress on the body and preventive strategies to ensure a better quality of life, while also education other.

Elizabeth Oestreich

elizabeth-oestreichElizabeth Oestreich
North Seattle Community College
2014 Martin Honors Scholar

Elizabeth Oestreich has always enjoyed learning through travel and inquiry. A native of New York, she grew up in New Jersey and spent time in Georgia and California while in the military. She now calls Washington State home.

During her six years in the Navy, Elizabeth was deployed to Iraq and the Persian Gulf as an Arabic linguist, attaining the rank of E-6 in only 5 years. In addition, the Associate of Arts (AA) degree in Arabic. which was earned during her time in the Navy, Elizabeth earned an AA at the University of Maryland and an Associate of Science at North Seattle Community College. She is excited to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Biology – Molecular, Cellular & Developmental at the UW.

Elizabeth plans to focus her studies on epigenetics, specifically how DNA methylation affects autoimmune diseases. At North Seattle CC, Elizabeth completed a capstone project funded by the Ready Set Transfer Academy. For her project, she developed a confocal microscopy live-cell staining protocol for the nanotechnology lab on campus. Combined with a genetic class, this project cemented her desire to pursue a future in genetic research. After graduation, Elizabeth plans to complete a Master in Genetics Counseling so she can combine her love of genetics with her commitment to helping people.

At home, Elizabeth is supported in her goals by her husband and two children. She volunteers as a room parent for her daughter’s school. Additionally, one of her favorite things to do on a nice day is host a community potluck.

Benjamin Pennant

benjamin-pennantBenjamin Pennant
Cascadia & Everett Community College
2014 Martin Honors Scholar

Benjamin Pennant was born and raised in Glastonbury, Connecticut where he was the seventh of eight children. After a brief period of success of his dad’s real estate business, his home was foreclosed and, at 16, he began to work to support himself and his family. They were homeless, bouncing from house to house until he was 17, at which point he moved out to attend university.

Financial troubles continued after he moved to Virginia for university and Benjamin embarked on a career in the Food & Hospitality industry, which continues to this day. For two years, he only worked to support himself, until one day he was motivated to return to school. Benjamin distinctly recalls writing down a list of goals that would completely change his life. These goals included moving to Washington State and working his way to the UW to become an engineer.

When he arrived in Washington state, his aunt, uncle and cousins were waiting to help him get started. Benjamin attended Cascadia Community College and worked at a restaurant in downtown Seattle. After his first year at Cascadia, he felt confident in his grades and personal growth to attempt extracurricular activities.

In the summer of 2013, he became V.P. of Cascadia Student Government. He was also a math tutor, which he feels is especially fulfilling because of his passion for math paired with the ability to help others. In the fall, Benjamin will be a volunteer tutor at the Bothell Public Library.

Raegan Ramynke

raegan-ramynkeRaegan Ramynke
Yakima Valley Community College
2014 Martin Honors Scholar

Raegan Ramynke was born and raised in Yakima Washington. As a young child, she and her sister spent time with her grandmother while her parents worked. As a result, she developed a very close relationship with her grandmother who spent countless hours reading and engaged with then. Unfortunately, her grandmother died too soon of ovarian cancer, leaving an impression that also sparked an interest in medicine.

During sophomore year in high school, Raegan had the opportunity to volunteer at Children’s Village, mentoring special needs children. This lead to her involvement with the YouthWorks Council, which allowed her to engage in various community activities including fundraising for various hospital branches. Through these activities, she was inspired to pursue her dream of working in the medical field.

Inspired by the community work and wanting to challenge herself, Raegan enrolled in the Running Start Program, earning her high school diploma and Associate of Arts at Yakima Valley Community College concurrently. While at the UW, she is interested in Neurobiology. Raegan’s great-grand mother is a affected by Alzheimer’s Disease. Watching her progress day-to-day, she has seen the disastrous effect of this disease on her. Raegan looks forward to bringing her personal experience to her involvement in Alzheimer’s research and other diseases of the brain and providing care to those afflicted as a neurologist.

Amina Sheikh

Amina Sheikh

Amina Sheikh
South Seattle Community College
2014 Martin Achievement Scholar

Amina was born and raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her life dramatically changed when she moved to the United States with her family in 2011. While adapting to life in a new country with new culture and customs was difficult, Amina was extremely motivated by the opportunity to gain a higher education. Amina graduated from Kentridge High School in 2012. After graduating from high school, Amina began attending South Seattle Community College. She plans to transfer to the University of Washington in the fall of 2015, where she will major in biology on a pre-med track.

Amina is currently a tutor for the TRiO at South Seattle where she tutors her peers in math, biology and chemistry. As a tutor she is able to help her peers and give back to her campus community that has supported her immensely. Amina is also the Vice President of Women in STEM a student run organization that focuses on getting women interested in the STEM field. The club also works to provide women in the STEM fields with professional and educational resources.

This upcoming summer of 2014, Amina will be taking part in the Summer Medical Dental Education Program (SMDEP) at the University of Washington. The program is intended to enrich and expose underrepresented minorities to fields of medicine and dentistry. Amina’s goal upon finishing her undergraduate degree is to attend medical school and become a physician. This passion stems from witnessing medical practices in different parts of the world and living within underserved populations where people went untreated and suffered from completely preventable diseases.

Tim Sundine

Tim Sundine

Tim Sundine
Everett Community College
2014 Martin Achievement Scholar

Tim’s passion for aviation and his desire to shape his career around Aeronautical Engineering and piloting were energized by his experiences of flying an old WWII trainer, sitting in the cockpit of Boeing’s new 787, and being mentored by his Uncle, who is an Air Force Veteran and retired Continental Airlines Captain. Tim has brought forward his personal vision with a foundation of character based on his personal philosophy of hard work and self-reliance, which led him to earn his pilot’s license by the age of 19 and enter the pre-engineering program at Everett Community College. He plans on transferring to the University of Washington to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

In addition to going after his educational aspirations by jumpstarting his college education with college level courses in high school, Tim has endeavored to serve his community. Instead of participating in formalized extracurricular activities, he has chosen over the years to make it a point to support his neighbors, behind the scenes, who are senior, disabled or just in need of help. His understanding that people helping people can make a profound difference in someone’s life is due to, in part, his experience of losing his Mother to cancer when he was very young. Tim is optimistic about his ability to contribute in meaningful ways in his community throughout his life, being a part of future advancements in the Aerospace industry in research and development and earning his wings as a flight test pilot.

2013

Justin Anderson

justin-andersonJustin Andersen
Highline Community College
2013 Martin Honors Scholar

Justin is a Washington native who grew up in Federal Way where he attended Thomas Jefferson High School. After graduation, Justin decided to forego a college education and headed straight into the workforce under the encouragement of his math teacher, and mortgage broker, who had offered him a lucrative position at his lending firm. Two years later and unsatisfied, Justin embarked on the pursuit of a career outside of the finance industry that led to his employment in a variety of different positions over the next few years. However, after getting married in 2009, and the subsequent birth of his son in 20 I 0, Justin experienced hardship after being laid-off and resolved that he needed to get an education that would allow him the opportunity to provide a better foundation for his family.

Despite the challenges encompassing the pursuit of a college education for a non-traditional student with a wife and three children, Justin was not only able to strike a balance between his family and his education, but also he was able to discover his passion for neuroscience and excel in his studies. In 2013, Justin graduated HCC as both a Highline Honors Scholar and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and had earned honors distinction in both an Associate of Arts degree and an Associate of Science degree in Biology with a 3.83 cumulative GPA.

Justin transferred as junior into the University of Washington Autumn quarter 2013, where he will pursue interdisciplinary honors as a double major in Neurobiology and Biochemistry. He looks forward to the opportunity to get involved in his campus community through participation in neuroscience research and believes that opportunities offered at the University of Washington will best prepare him for medical school and propel him toward reaching his goal of becoming a research psychiatrist.

Mason Christensen

mason-christensen-masMason Christensen
Highline Community College
2013 Martin Achievement Scholar

Mason plans to transfer to the UW in fall of 2014 and double major in Physics and Mathematics. He is currently a Lead Tutor for the Math Resource Center at Highline where he tutors through Calculus. He is also a Philosophy tutor. These positions give him a deeper understanding of material and allows him to play a leading role on campus for his peers. Mason plans to complete graduate work in Particle Physics, obtaining a PhD in the field. He hopes to use his abilities and critical ways of thinking to assist in making new discoveries about the universe in which we live.

Mason is a participant of the Honors Scholar Program, a MESA Student and, through Gateway to College student, was awarded his high school diploma in June 2013. He is also the founder of the Nordic Heritage Club at Highline, a club created to spread cultural awareness of Nordic People.

Jessica Johnson

jessica-johnsonJessica Johnson
Green River Community College
2013 Martin Honors Scholar

Jessica entered the University of Washington as a junior majoring in chemistry and minoring in physics and mathematics. She is determined to continue her studies in order to work in the field of nuclear energy research. Jessica hopes to change the way people sees and uses nuclear energy.

Nervous about starting college after a 12-year hiatus from school, Jessica’s background as a non-traditional student quickly became an asset, which allowed her to take on leadership roles at Green River Community College. Through her jobs as a supplemental instructor and teaching assistant at Green River, she discovered the joy in sharing her passion for chemistry with other students. This led to her nomination for the GRCC’s President’s Award, as well as her receipt of GRCC’s Science Division award. At the UW, she hopes to continue working with other students in chemistry outreach programs.

Eric King

KING, ERIC - 2013 MAS

Eric King
Seattle Central Community College
2013 Martin Achievement Scholar

In the fall of 2014 Eric will enter the UW as a junior, where he will complete his bachelor’s degree in biology/physiology. His journey to the UW began with receiving his GED and enrolling in classes at Seattle Central Community College, where he participated in student leadership, tutored biology and became a member of the academic honor society Phi Theta Kappa. In attention to studying biology, Eric will also complete pre-medical course requirements.

Eric’s dream is to become a physician, a desire that came early in life due to the deaths of both parents by potentially curable illnesses. He became a national certified pharmacy technician when he was 18 years old to better understand how both of his parents’ medications worked. Eric intends to keep his pharmacy license current and maintain regular employment on his journey to medical school.

Pooja Sethi

pooja-sethiPooja Sethi
Everett Community College
2013 Martin Honors Scholar

Pooja Sethi began her studies at Everett Community College through Washington State’s Running Start program, allowing her to dual-enroll in college classes while still a high school student. In June 2013, not only did she graduate as valedictorian of her high school, but she also completed an Associate of Science in Physics. Pooja’s innate interest in understanding how things work has led her to the University of Washington, where she transferred as a junior to study Computer Engineering and Math. Pooja is looking forward to participating in undergraduate research while at UW, and hopes to pursue a Master’s or Ph.D. in the future.

Though Pooja enjoys learning in the classroom, even more so, she delights in applying her learning in ways to improve everyday life. As a member of her high school’s “ShopGirls” team, Pooja designed and built a prototype car for the Shell Eco-marathon, an international race for fuel-efficient vehicles. In 2010, her team’s car went 470 miles on a single gallon of diesel The ShopGirls were also the first all-women team in the history of the race. Pooja hopes to encourage more students, especially young women, to consider engineering majors – she was a member of the Society of Women Engineers at EvCC, and now at UW.

In addition to building cars, Pooja has also competed in Future Business Leaders of America, winning both state and national-level awards in Management Information Systems, Network Design, Cyber Security, and Accounting. She is a Washington Aerospace Scholar, a NASA Space Grant Scholar, and a National Merit Commended Student. Pooja also maintains active involvement in her community. For the past five years, she has volunteered at Granite Falls Historical Museum. Currently, she is working on developing a new website for the museum. Her hobbies include long-distance running, reading, and hiking.

Lydia Smith

LYDIA SMITH MOSBY, 2013 MAS

Lydia Smith
Highline Community College
2013 Martin Achievement Scholar

Lydia is studying to receive as Associate’s Degree in Pre-Nursing. As a wife and mother of three, Lydia has achieved academic success through time management, discipline and organization. Her academic goals are to transfer to the UW, where she will pursue a PhD in Nursing. Her professional goals are to enter into a combination of clinical practice and Research and Development. Lydia also has a long-term goal to start a non-profit organization that provides medical care for uninsured veterans. As a veteran who served in Iraq, the realization of this goal holds special meaning to her.

Lydia is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, the MESA program, where she runs Academic Excellent Workshops for General Biology and is a Bio tutor in the Academic Success Center at Highline. She interned the summer of 2013 at the Pacific Northwest national labs to gain more insight and experience in research.

2012

Anna Johnson

JOHNSON_ANNA MAS_webAnna Johnson
Seattle Central Community College
2012 Martin Achievement Scholar

Anna is a sophomore at Seattle Central Community College Pursuing an Associate’s Degree of Science. She intends to transfer to the University of Washington in the fall of 2013 to complete her bachelor’s degree in Biology and finish pre-medical courses. Anna moved from Alaska to Washington the summer of 1999 with her family and has lived in and around the Seattle area ever since, excluding a yearlong tour of Europe in 2008 where she met her Iranian husband. Since high school, Anna has been searching for her role in the enrichment of her community, both local and global, and has found it in the sciences. She started by getting her certificate as an Emergency Medical Technician and has now moved onto a pre-medical track to further her ability to contribute. Her dedication to her work and studies comes from the desire to be part of and strengthen the forward progression of biological understanding. She currently works for the Biology Department at Seattle Central Community College. her long term goal is a career in medical research.

In addition to studying biology, Anna hopes to participate in the UW’s Near East Civilization and Language program to become fluent in Farsi, the native tongue of her husband and extended family. She believes that progress on a global scale is dependent on intercultural understandings and hopes that Farsi will be the first of many languages that she will be able to utilize in promoting that communication.

Siyu Lu

Siyu Lu2_webSiyu Lu
Edmonds Community College
2012 Martin Honors Scholar

Siyu Lu will be a junior at the University of Washington in the Winter quarter 2013, working towards a double major in accounting and finance. Siyu grew up in Beijing, China, and moved to the United States at the age of 17. Due to difficult family life, Siyu struggled with homelessness in high school. While living on her own and managing her personal finances, Siyu became aware of her talents in mathematics, her interest in economics, and her thoughtful personality. With the intent to become a financial analyst, Siyu started her higher education journey as a first-generation college student. Siyu is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and is in the Edmonds Community College Honors Program. In 2012, Siyu was selected to represent Edmonds Community College and Washington State to compete in the All-USA & Coca-Cola Community College Academic Teams.

Her extracurricular activities also include participating in various service projects to help facilitate a health society. Siyu’s goals include achieving personal success as a financial analyst, obtaining the Certified Public Accountant certification; practicing in the field of financial planning, business consulting, and public accounting; and finally utilizing her strengths and knowledge to help people in financial hardships. In ten to fifteen years, Siyu expects to establish her own non-profit organization to serve middle and low-income families with income tax preparation, financial management skills, debit elimination, and long-term financial planning.

David Olsen

David Olson_webDavid Olsen
North Seattle Community College
2012 Martin Honors Scholar

David Olson was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to the US with his mother when he was four years old. After becoming a husband and father, he provided for his family and supported his wife through college by being a carpenter. Returning to college after an 18-year hiatus was difficult for him but has proven to be an extremely rewarding experience. He originally endeavored to complete a simple one-year certificate at North Seattle Community College in practical nursing. However, after excelling in the prerequisites and receiving numerous words of encouragement from professors, David has decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in biology and later a M.D./Ph.D. degree in endocrinology.

David spent a year researching microplastic contaminants in Green Lake through an integrated studies class at NSCC, which helped him to realize his excitement for scientific research. He also spent five quarters as a biology tutor at NSCC, which helped him strengthen his grasp of anatomy and physiology and taught him to convey my knowledge to other students in an effective manner. His experience as a Hospice patient care volunteer has given him enough inspiration to complete ten doctoral programs. Some of David’s extracurricular activities include singing as a tenor in the church choir at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church and playing soccer with the Seattle Soccer Club.

Elizabeth Reid

REID, ELIZABETH MAS_webElizabeth Reid
Green River College
2012 Martin Achievement Scholar

Elizabeth intends to complete her Associates of Arts Transfer Degree and enter U. W. as an English Major. Ultimately, she would like to complete law school and use her skills for public interest and social justice issues. She has been a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Sorority, Alpha Chi Beta Chapter, since February, 2012.

Elizabeth volunteers with several organizations in the community, and particularly enjoys working with the Post-Prison Education Program. She is a member of the People with Convictions: Post-Prison Community Collaboration Project at U.W. She enjoys advocating for those in the community that are victims of injustice. She also is working to promote awareness of the school-to-prison pipeline and the problems of mass incarceration. She believes intervention and mentoring of the youth in the community can make a significant difference in what they are able to accomplish during their lives. Elizabeth will soon be published by Harvard University, Harvard Educational Review, in their upcoming book regarding the school-to-prison pipeline.

Miriam Williamson

WILLIAMSON, MIRIAM MAS_webMiriam Williamson
Seattle Central Community College
2012 Martin Achievement Scholar

Miriam is currently a sophomore at Seattle Central Community College where she is pursueing an Associate’s Degree of Science. At school, Miriam is engaged in the student body where she serves as Vice President of the Women in Science and Engineering club and Vice President of the Ready Set Transfer Academy. Through the undergraduate research program at Seattle Central, Miriam has been working on identifying genetic mutations in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana and in the summer of 2012 she will be participating in the Building Bridges to Bioengineering research internship at the University of Washington.

In addition to school, Miriam works part time as a Program Assistant for the UWSOM and spends her free time developing an “urban homestead” at her Seattle home where she raises chickens, grows organic produce and brews beer. Miriam intends to transfer to the UW in the fall of 2013 to pursue a double major in Biochemistry and Neurobiology. Her plans for the future are to obtain a PhD in Genomic Sciences with the goal of going to Academic Medicine. Miriam wants to use her passion for scientific discovery and research to study the molecular and biochemical elements of neurological disease.

2011

Sebastian Anderson

Anderson_SebastianSebastian Anderson
South Seattle Community College
2011 Martin Achievement Scholar

Sebastian is a freshman at South Seattle Community College working towards his Business Associates Degree. He plans to transfer to the University of Washington in the fall of 2012 to pursue Marketing and Human Resource Management. Sebastian supports his study and family by working full time at Seattle Costco where he has been leading efforts to support environmental sustainability in the workplace.

Dimitry Antipov

Dmitry AntopovDmitry Antipov
Shoreline Community College
2011 Martin Honors Scholar

Dmitry was born in a remote city of Petropavlovsk on Kamchatka peninsula in Far East Russia. After tenth grade he spent a year as an exchange student in rural Arkansas. This experience broadened his horizons and expanded his outlook as he learned about a new culture and made new friends.

In the fall of 2006 Dmitry and his family were granted permission to immigrate to Israel. There, he spent a year learning Hebrew and then started his college education at the Tecnion-Israel Institute of Technology in an Aerospace Engineering program. His academic achievements were noticed by the Israeli Aerospace Society and he was awarded Arie Hillel’s Prize for Excellence.

In April 2010 Dmitry’s family won a Diversity Visa lottery and was allowed to immigrate to the U.S. He continued his education at Shoreline Community College, and transferred to the University of Washington in fall of 2011 to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering. Dmitry is doing undergraduate research at the Bio-Robotics lab at the University of Washington, and also volunteers for a variety of non-profit organizations such as Food Lifeline, Seattle Parks, and School of Acrobatics and Circus Arts. After Dmitry finishes his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering he wants to continue toward a graduate degree, and get a job in a wireless communications technologies research program.

Holly Battersby

Holly Battersby2Holly Battersby
Whatcom Community College
2011 Martin Honors Scholar

Holly is a Junior at the University of Washington whom transferred from Whatcom Community College to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare. Holly’s work at Kid’s Country Preschool and Daycare sparked her passion for child advocacy. It was her work experience that brought her to realize she had been blinded from most of the devastating hardships some children go through. Holly has advocated for children by volunteering at Nooksack Elementary Head Start program during monthly literacy nights.

Holly’s transfer as a junior to the University of Washington brings her one step closer to her professional goal of completing her bachelor’s degree in social welfare and earning a master’s degree in Social Work with honors. After finishing her education, she wants to pursue a case management job to continue her advocacy work with children. Once she gains more experience in social work, he ultimate goal is to work as a victim’s advocate.

Koffi Noel Fadonougbo

Koffi Noel Fadonougbo
Highline Community College
2011 Martin Achievement Scholar

Koffi-Noel is a freshman at Highline Community College pursuing an Associate’s Degree of Science. He hopes to transfer into the UW Mechanical Engineering Program in the fall of 2012 where he intends to pursue mechanical research that will investigate health issues and rapid spread of diseases in Africa. Born in West Africa, Koffi-Noel aspires to use his education to help the home he left behind through the design and development of medical devices and engineering.

Sean Huertas

Sean Huertas
South Seattle Community College
2011 Martin Achievement Scholar

Sean is a sophomore at South Seattle Community College working towards his Business Associates Degree. He intends to transfer to the UW Foster School of Business in the fall of 2013 to pursue an accounting degree. He is actively engaged at South Seattle as a Co-President of the Business Club and peer tutor. Sean worked as a paralegal for a number of years at a personal injury law firm, and has recently decided to return to school to pursue an education and professional pathway he is passionate about.

Buchheng Kak

Buchheng Kak
South Seattle Community College
2011 Martin Achievement Scholar

Buchheng is a Sophomore at South Seattle Community College pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Science. She intends to transfer to the UW to pursue a degree in Biology. Buchhang has actively engaged in the community at South Seattle through their Student Success Service program, as well as held internships at the Seattle Veteran Hospital and the Microsoft DigiGirlz Tech Camp. Following graduation, Buchheng hopes to attend medical school.

Irene Malloch

Irene Malloch
North Seattle Community College
2011 Martin Honors Scholar

Irene transferred from North Seattle Community College and to the University of Washington to pursue a degree in International Studies with a Human Rights minor. Irene lived in South Korea for half of her life, and she plans on increasing her language proficiency skills while at the University of Washington. Irene desires to start a support club for North Korean refugees, and bring awareness of the situation of North Korea to the University’s campus. After her undergraduate career, Irene plans on working toward her Ph.D. in North Korean studies, pursuing her career goal of working with the international diplomacy between the Koreas and the U.S.

Bradley Pierce

Bradley Pierce
Bellevue Community College
2011 Martin Honors Scholar

Bradley’s background is a somewhat diverse one. He was raised in a rural area, working on farms and ranches from an early age. He was fortunate enough to join AmeriCorps during the first two years of its implementation, gaining a wide base of knowledge and experience.

With a background in music, environmental studies, and carpentry Bradley plans on using his diverse experiences to pursue his goal of being a Physician. For the past couple of years, he has been taking classes to prepare him to enter medical school. Having always been interested in the human body and science, his decision to become a doctor has been some time in the making. Bradley transferred to the University of Washington in Fall 2011 to pursue a degree in Humanities, while simultaneously applying to medical schools across the country.

2010

Patrick-Gabriel Clarke

ClarkePatrick-Gabriel Clarke
North Seattle Community College
2010 Martin Family Honors Scholar

Patrick is a Nursing major. He has been involved in the medical community through volunteer work at UW Medical Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital. He has a diverse background of work and volunteer experience, including work as a graphic designer, translator and Social Justice Community member at St. Bridget Catholic Church. Following graduation, Patrick hopes to pursue a career as a Registered Nurse at the UW Medical Center.

Danna Culhane

Danna Culhane
South Seattle Community College
2010 Martin Achievement Scholar

Danna Culhane is a freshman at South Seattle Community College. She is currently working towards her Business Associates Degree and plans to transfer to the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business in the fall of 2011. Danna is planning of getting her degree in International Business to work with foreign energy companies. She is actively involved in the community through the FUSE program—a mentoring program for teens, Phi Theta Kappa and various other community organizations working in food banks, park restoration, and fundraising events

Bronsyn Foster-Springer

Bronsyn Foster-Springer
Olympic College
2010 Martin Family Honors Scholar

Bronsyn is a Speech and Hearing Sciences major and a Linguistics minor. She has been passionate about methods of communication for years through explorations of theater, literature and foreign language. Through volunteer work at children’s drama camps and her study of American Sign Language, she has been committing herself to connecting with communities through diverse methods of communication. She intends to pursue a career as a speech pathologies following graduation from the University of Washington.

Heather Fuentes

Heather_wHeather Fuentes
Seattle Central Community College
2010 Martin Achievement Scholar

Heather Fuentes is a freshman at Seattle Central Community College. After receiving her Associate of Arts degree, she plans on transferring to the University of Washington in Winter 2011. She plans on majoring in Sociology. Her love of studying societies and human behavior comes from a career in project management and moving often while growing up living in most of the United States as well as Japan. Her extensive travels throughout Europe, Asia, and the Scandinavian countries have further fueled this interest. She plans on using her degree to further her career by deepening her understanding of people and societies.

Muhamedarifeine Manhsour

Mohamed_w

Muhamedarifeine Manhsour
Seattle Central Community College
2010 Martin Achievement Scholar

Muhamedarifeine Manhsour is a freshman at Seattle Central Community College who hopes to pursue a degree in Business upon transfer to the University of Washington. His future career goals include a focus in Business Administration or Human Resources and to help create jobs for generations to come. His parents’ serve as an inspiration to give back to the community and assist others as a positive role model to teens through his involvement in the Cham Community.

Ava Marie Munson

Ava Marie Munson
Shoreline Community College
2010 Martin Family Honors Scholar

Ava is a Political Science major and a Human Rights minor. She has a deep passion for reach out to help those suffering from injustices due to poverty and abuse. Through her volunteer work with the Center for Service-Learning and founding a chapter of Amnesty International at Shoreline Community College, she has been able to strengthen her academic aspirations. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was named the 2010 New Century Scholar and the Student Leadership Award at Shoreline Community College. Ava aspires to ultimately pursue a career as a human rights defender.

David Opincarne

David Opincarne
Green River Community College
2010 Martin Family Honors Scholar

David is an Interaction and Industrial Design major. His interest in design stems from his long time interest in combining industrial and technological influences. Prior to his return to school, David worked as a journeyman patternmaker, toolmaker and cabinet maker for 13 years. He has studied commercial photography at Colorado Mountain College and worked for a number of years in editorial photography at the University of Washington. An avid problem solved, David hopes to focus on providing greater access to technology for marginalized populations and retaining the procedural knowledge held by skilled trades people and artisans.

Dylan Ward

Dylan Ward
Seattle Central Community College
2010 Martin Family Honors Scholar

Dylan is a Drama and Comparative History of Ideas major. He has been involved in the performing arts since he was six years old through his studies at the Denver School of Arts, as an actor in community theater productions, and writing, producing and directing work. As a double major in Drama and the Comparative History of Ideas, he hopes to combine his interest in sociology, philosophy, psychology and drama. Dylan ultimately wants to continue on to a PhD program, leading to work as a dramaturge and professor.

Jason Yabandeh

Jason_wJason Yabandeh
Bellevue College
2010 Martin Achievement Scholar

Jason Yabandeh is a freshman at Bellevue College and hopes to pursue studies in Chemistry and Biochemistry upon transfer to the University of Washington. His future goals include a career as a chemist, working in research to directly benefit the public. The creative leadership skills he has gained through music and dance have aided his understanding and drive to work with others, skills he will take on to future career aspirations in research and teaching.

2009

Gregory Bertsch

Gregory Bertsch
South Seattle Community College
2009 Martin Honors Scholar

Jaison Briar

Briar_JasonJaison Briar
South Seattle Community College
2009 Martin Achievement Scholar

Sochetna Chhay

Sochetna Chhay
South Seattle Community College
2009 Martin Achievement Scholar

Jeung Hwa (Victoria) Choe

Jeung Hwa (Victoria) Choe
Green River Community College
2009 Martin Honors Scholar

Vincent Ethier

Ethier_VincentVincent Ethier
Seattle Central Community College
2009 Martin Honors Scholar

Amanda Neice

Neice_AmandaAmanda Neice
Everett Community College
2009 Martin Achievement Scholar

Amanda is a Civil Engineering major and hopes use her studies to actively participate in her community. She is very interested in the transportation sectors of engineering and would like to her skills to develop strong systems for cities.

Johonna Nutter

Johonna Nutter
Seattle Central Community College
2009 Martin Achievement Scholar

Johonna is a Computer Science major with a Japanese minor. She has had experience as a technical designer and programmer in the software and video game companies. Johanna hopes to work further with Artificial Intelligence and Robotics utilizing her background in video game industry.

Alexander Ruiz

Alexander Ruiz
Columbia Basin Community College
2009 Martin Honors Scholar

Nickolas Stelzenmuller

Stelzenmuller_NickolasNickolas Stelzenmuller
Seattle Central Community College
2009 Martin Honors Scholar

Ephrem Yemru

Yemru_EphremEphrem Yemru
Highline Community College
2009 Martin Honors Scholar

2008

Eric Evangelista

Eric Evangelista
Everett Community College
2008 Martin Honors Scholar

Jason Flint

Jason Flint
South Seattle Community College
2008 Martin Honors Scholar

Nhi K Lac

Nhi K Lac
South Seattle Community College
2008 Martin Achievement Scholar

Jennifer Marker

Jennifer Marker
Everett Community College
2008 Martin Honors Scholar

Diem Hong Thi Nguyen

Diem Hong Thi Nguyen
South Seattle Community College
2008 Martin Achievement Scholar

Diem Hong is on a pre-pharmacy track at South Seattle Community College. Since receiving the Martin Achievement Scholarship, she has been tutoring for Student Success Services and volunteering in her community through the Gift of the Earth event and White Center Food Bank.

Diem Kieu Thi Nguyen

Diem Kieu Thi Nguyen
South Seattle Community College
2008 Martin Achievement Scholar

Jarica Quick

Jarica Quick
Cascadia Community College
2008 Martin Honors Scholar

Steven Simpkins

Steven Simpkins
Highline Community College
2008 Martin Honors Scholar

Shauna Stadnik

Shauna Stadnik
Green River Community College
2008 Martin Honors Scholar

Anna Zinchenko

Anna Zinchenko
Highline Community College
2008 Martin Honors Scholar

Anna is a Nursing major and intends to graduate in 2010. She has been supporting her field of study through volunteer work at St. Francis Hospital Emergency Department and participating in research at Harborview’s Burn Center.

2007

Joseph Burnett

Joseph Burnett
Highline Community College
2007 Martin Achievement Scholar

Katherine Byrne

Katherine Byrne
Cascadia Community College
2007 Martin Achievement Scholar

Mary Hake

Mary Hake
Pierce College
2007 Martin Achievement Scholar

Alice Lee

Alice Lee
Highline Community College
2007 Martin Honors Scholar

Jeremy Mathews

Jeremy Matthews
Edmonds Community College
2007 Martin Honors Scholar

David Moore

David Moore
Seattle Central Community College
2007 Martin Honors Scholar

Chris Garrido Philp

Chris Garrido Philp
Everett Community College
2007 Martin Achievement Scholar

Lara Schrier

Lara Schrier
Seattle Central Community College
2007 Martin Achievement Scholar

Alice Shieh

Alice Shieh
Olympic College
2007 Martin Honors Scholar

Conan Storlie

Conan Storlie
North Seattle Community College
2007 Martin Achievement Scholar

Crystal Tallent

Crystal Tallent
Highline Community College
2007 Martin Achievement Scholars

2006

Ashley Baker

Ashley Baker
Seattle Central Community College
2006 Martin Honors Scholar

Bryan Bartley

Bryan Bartley
Seattle Central Community College
2006 Martin Honors Scholar

Lisa Esperum

Lisa Esperum
Skagit Valley Community College
2006 Martin Honors Scholar

Byran S. Francisco

Byran S. Francisco
Seattle Central Community College
2006 Martin Achievement Scholar

Donna Freedman

Donna Freedman
North Seattle Community College
2006 Martin Honors Scholar

Seth Gordon

Seth Gordon
Seattle Central Community College
2006 Martin Honors Scholar

James Gray

James Gray
Seattle Central Community College
2006 Martin Achievement Scholar

Celeste Hoffman

Celeste Hoffman
Seattle Central Community College
2006 Martin Achievement Scholar

William Mari

William Mari
Bellevue Community College
2006 Martin Honor Scholar

Alexander Otier

Alexander Otier
Seattle Central Community College
2006 Martin Achievement Scholar

Siv Prince

Siv Prince
Shoreline Community College
2006 Martin Honors Scholar

Jennifer Reilly

Jennifer Reilly
Highline Community College
2006 Martin Honors Scholar

Kathleen Silva

Kathleen Silva
Seattle Central Community College
2006 Martin Achievement Scholar

2005

Lensa Etana
Lensa Etana
Spokane Falls Community College
2005 Martin Honors Scholar

Mathew Goodwin

Matthew Goodwin
Seattle Central Community College
2005 Martin Honors Scholar

Jayson Jochim

Jayson Jochim
North Seattle Community College
2005 Martin Honors Scholar

James Krieger

James Krieger
North Seattle Community College
2005 Martin Honors Scholar

Ming Li

Ming Li
Wenatchee Valley Community College
2005 Martin Honors Scholar

Beth Scholler

Beth Scholler
North Seattle Community College
2005 Martin Achievement Scholar

Ethopia Zerfu

Ethopia Zerfu
South Seattle Community College
2005 Martin Achievement Scholar

2004

Shamin Ghandami

Shamim Ghandami
South Seattle Community College
2004 Martin Achievement Scholar

Severin Gose

Severin Gose
North Seattle Community College
2004 Martin Honors Scholar

Peter Perez

Peter Perez
Seattle Central Community College
2004 Martin Achievement Scholar

Elise Saba

Elise Saba
North Seattle Community College
2004 Martin Honors Scholar

Igor Tikhonov

Igor Tikhonov
Shoreline Community College
2004 Martin Honors Scholar

2003

Maliha Ayub

Maliha Ayub
South Seattle Community College
2003 Martin Achievement Scholar

Myung Suk Chee

Myung Suk Chee
Seattle Central Community College
2003 Martin Achievement Scholar

Colby Harris

Colby Harris
South Seattle Community College
2003 Martin Honors Scholar

Jan Edward Lauderbaugh

Jan Edward Lauderbaugh
Seattle Central Community College
2003 Martin Achievement Scholar

Loyce Mbewa

Loyce (Mbewa) On’Gudi
Seattle Central Community College
2003 Martin Achievement Scholar

Brandon Stogsdill

Brandon Stogsdill
Pierce Community College
2003 Martin Honors Scholar

Thao Ha Vu

Thao Ha Vu
North Seattle Community College
2003 Martin Honors Scholar

2002

Adriana Cardenas

Adriana Cardenas
Seattle Central Community College
2002 Martin Honors Scholar

Yen Hoang Duong

Yen Hoang Duong
North Seattle Community College
2002 Martin Achievement Scholar

Cesar Escobar

Cesar Escobar
North Seattle Community College
2002 Martin Achievement Scholar

Andria Green

Andria Green
Bellevue Community College
2002 Martin Honors Scholar

Edward Gonzales

Edward Gonzales
Seattle Central Community College
2002 Martin Honors Scholar

Shahra Jafari

Shahra Jafari
South Seattle Community College
2002 Martin Achievement Scholar

James Larrabee

James Larrabee
Seattle Central Community College
2002 Martin Achievement Scholar

Anna Le

Anna Le
North Seattle Community College
2002 Martin Achievement Scholar

Amanda Morgan

Amanda Morgan
Seattle Central Community College
2002 Martin Honors Scholar

Tina Norman

Tina Norman
North Seattle Community College
2002 Martin Achievement Scholar

Cristina Pacheco

Cristina Pacheco
Peninsula College
2002 Martin Honors Scholar

Cynthia Peacock

Cynthia Peacock
Highline Community College
2002 Martin Honors Scholar

2001

David Atik

David Atik
Seattle Central Community College
2001 Martin Honors Scholar

Joyce Barnet

Joyce Barnet
South Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Alicia Cole

Alicia Cole
South Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Lisa Cooper

Lisa Cooper
North Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Jennifer Devine

Jennifer Devine
Yakima Valley Community College
2001 Martin Honors Scholar

Zeadryn Ensor-Estes

Zaedryn Ensor-Estes
Seattle Central Community College
2001 Martin Honors Scholar

Emily Bernadette Gardner

Emily Bernadette Gardner
Seattle Central Community College
2001 Martin Honors Scholar

Susan Gregory

Susan Gregory
South Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Gwendolyn Jackson

Gwendolyn Jackson
South Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Diana Kramer-Spence

Diana Kramer-Spence
North Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Honors Scholar

Cynthia Masterson

Cynthia Masterson
Seattle Central Community College
2001 Martin Honors Scholar

Mathew Nguyen

Mathew Nguyen
South Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Honors Scholar

Kiana Parker

Kiana Parker
Shoreline Community College
2001 Martin Honors Scholar

Charity Ranger

Charity Ranger
South Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Mahnoosh Shadbakht

Mahnoosh Shadbakht
South Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Johnson Steele

Johnson Steele
South Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Terrace Strand

Terrace Strand
Seattle Central Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Medina Tadele

Medina Tadele
North Seattle Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Joao Teodoro Filho

Joao Teodoro Filho
Seattle Central Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

Laun G. Truong

Luan G. Truong
Seattle Central Community College
2001 Martin Achievement Scholar

2000

Mitchell Gaikowski

Mitchell Gaikowski
North Seattle Community College
2000 Martin Honors Scholar

Dawit Gebrekidan

Dawit (Teklemichael) Gebrekidan
Seattle Central Community College
2000 Martin Honors Scholar

Max Hunter

Max Hunter
Seattle Central Community College
2000 Martin Honors Scholar

1999

Michelle Fallon

Michelle Fallon
Everett Community College
1999 Martin Honors Scholar

Jonathan Fay

Jonathan Fay
Seattle Central Community College
1999 Martin Honors Scholar

Cristina Pacheco

Cristina Pacheco
Peninsula Community College
1999 Martin Honors Scholar

1998

Angela Lim

Angela Lim
North Seattle Community College
1998 Martin Honors Scholar

Chris McGann

Chris McGann
North Seattle Community College
1998 Martin Honors Scholar

Kendra McQuiston

Kendra McQuiston
Peninsula Community College
1998 Martin Honors Scholar

1997

Jodi Judge

Jodi Judge
South Puget Sound Community College
1997 Martin Honors Scholar

Ray Robinson

Ray Robinson
Seattle Central Community College
1997 Martin Honors Scholar