2002 GSBA and Richard Rolfs Scholars


GSBA SCHOLARS — Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) Scholars — Founded in 1990 to promote leadership and diversity in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, the GSBA Scholarship Fund includes gifts from hundreds of donors and has granted scholarships to 125 students, including the outstanding 2002 recipients profiled below.

Derek Attig is graduating from Tacoma's Bellarmine Prep, where he initiated the Day of Silence and prompted formation of the Gay and Lesbian Steering Committee. He will study enhanced history and gender theory at Beloit College, WI. Derek wants to be a museum curator, focusing on history of oppressed social groups.

Jaime Biava, former recipient of Garfield High School's Golden Grad Award and leader in the Garfield Gay/Straight Alliance, loves exploring, learning, questioning, and teaching. She is studying psychology and molecular biology at UW. Jaime hopes to combine her career interests in research and working with children.

Rassamee Bryan, a bi-racial queer woman from Tacoma, wants to make education accessible to all students, regardless of ability, language, or socioeconomic class. She has worked for Americorps and labor rights groups, and is now studying special education and Chinese language at Western Washington University.

Aaron Chandler, an African-American student at Renton's Lindberg High School, started the Lindberg Gay Straight Alliance and headed the DECA chapter. Aaron is the Western organizer for the National Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network national conference. He plans to study political science at Seattle Central CC.

Samonte Cruz, a bi-racial student from Port Orchard, is studying music and audio engineering at Fairhaven College. A leader in the GLBT community and communities of color, he plans to help at-risk youth through music. Samonte says, "I want to offer the gift of music creation as a means to promote self-exploration, expression, and voice."

Melinda "Mo" Fugate, who is from a blended interracial Tacoma family, has overcome personal struggles to become a dedicated worker with at-risk youth. Mo also plays professional women's football. She will study at Evergreen State College to become a certified chemical dependency counselor working with minority youth.

Roberto Garcia, a leader in the Movement Student Chicano Latino of Aztlan at Sealth HS, will be the first in his family to attend college. Roberto's mother is his heroine. He works at Tulio Ristorante, and plans to study culinary arts at Seattle Central CC. Roberto also enjoys soccer and merenge dancing.

Michael Helland, a second year GSBA scholar, considers his success in dance his greatest accomplishment. A Kent-Meridian graduate, he is majoring in environmental planning at the UW. He says, "The heart of my vision is a drive to understand the human condition and inspire the world around me through my experiences and my art."

Jeff Henderson, an African American man from Tacoma who has been living with AIDS for many years, has been active in dozens of community organizations, including PFLAG and the Lifelong Aids Alliance. He is studying human services with a focus on Chemical Dependency at Seattle Central Community College.

Dawn Howes is a doer of good who sees no obstacles. An outstanding student, she plans to continue working at Seattle's Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center while studying at Seattle Central CC and the American Sign Language and Interpreting School. Dawn wants to be a great interpreter and mentor and a good neighbor.

Jeffery Kiesling from Pocatello, Idaho, has been living with AIDS since he was 17. He works at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and will begin studies in business and international relations at Seattle Central CC this summer. He wants to work for an organization that helps developing countries empower themselves.

Aaron Rabideau, a third year GSBA scholar, transitioned from female to male during his sophomore year at the UW. He is majoring in chemical engineering, and aspires to improve the quality of and access to healthcare for trans people by becoming a doctor or working in biomaterials research to improve sexual reassignment surgeries.

Gilberto Salas has overcome financial and language challenges to complete his AA degree at South Seattle CC, and plans to study political science at the UW. He was Seattle's Mr. Gay Latino 2000, and works at the NW Immigrant Rights Project. He wants to help other disadvantaged people achieve their goals.

Christine Wheeler-Sinclair, an African American lesbian, overcame family rejection to become an award-winning playwright and community "mover and shaker." She has "fallen in love" with learning, and will pursue her interest in the social psychology and law at Antioch University, moving toward leadership in human rights.

Jacob Wolkenhauer, the only "out" member of the Clark County Youth Commission, is an International Baccalaureate Honor student at Vancouver's Columbia River HS. He has been active in DECA, Knowledge Bowl, Science Olympiad, and loves to write music. Jacob will attend UC Berkeley and wants to become a teacher.

Courtney Woolverton, daughter of a lesbian mother, will study anthropology and environmental studies at Scripps College. A National Merit Semi-finalist and student leader at Garfield HS, she has organized GSA activities, participated in the School Transformation Steering Committee, and worked with autistic children.

Zhen Zhen Yuan, a Chinese lesbian who immigrated to the US only 3 years ago, is graduating from Rainier Beach HS with a 3.86 GPA. She has been active in the Vietnamese and Filipino Club and has volunteered at the Chinese Information and Service Center. Zhen Zhen will study international business at the UW.


RICHARD ROLFS SCHOLARS — A $200,000 bequest from Richard Rolfs created an endowment in his memory in 1998. Rolfs, a native of Wenatchee and graduate of Washington State University, was a gay community activist for over twenty years. Awards target students from Eastern Washington, rural towns and outstanding community activists.

T Johnson is a committed mom, partner, student and activist. President of the Queer Club and outstanding student at North Seattle CC, she will receive an AA degree this spring. She wants to become an educator to give others the chance I am having education not only builds the mind: It builds the base of self-esteem.

Andrea Laggart from Spokane is studying English literature and women's studies at Eastern Washington U. She has been the chair of SAFE, Eastern's GLBTTQ group, and works at the Odyssey Youth Center supporting LBGT youth. She wants to become a professor and work with gay youth to help prevent teen suicide.

Gerardo Martinez, a second year Rolfs scholar, immigrated from Mexico with his family and graduated from Granger High School. He is studying at Central Washington U, where he will be an openly gay resident advisor for the College Assistance Migrant Program. He wants to be an advocate for the Hispanic and Gay communities.

Melissa Scammahorn, a second year Rolfs scholar from Cashmere, has "grown into herself." She maintains a 3.9 GPA in women's studies and human development at WSU while working and participating in GLBTA activities. Melissa wants to study family law to promote community health and give young people a voice.

Laramie Smith, a Latina/American from Olympia, is the first student ever to receive four GSBA awards. This year she maintained a 4.0 GPA while coordinating the Western Washington U GLBTA and restarting the Just Us youth group. She is also involved in Dyke Action and Brown Pride, a group for queer students of color.

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