2004 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, transgender and allied community, the GSBA Scholarship Fund includes gifts from hundreds of donors and has granted scholarships to 158 students, including these impressive 2004 recipients:

Tobitha "Tabby" Anderson (Renton) Despite having a learning disability and being a single mother of two, Tabby is the first person in her family to go to college. She is studying education and arts at Evergreen with a goal of improving literacy for children with learning disabilities. She has served as a student senator, President of Phi Theta Kappa and has received numerous awards.

Roberta "Boo" Austin (Seattle) — Boo has come from being homeless on Seattle streets to getting her GED, establishing a stable home and being accepted to Seattle Central Community College—all while working to overcome severe dyslexia. She has been a volunteer at Lambert House and counseled homeless teens.

Bogdan "Dahni" Bagdasarov (Bothell) — Bodgan, who is receiving a second GSBA scholarship, began learning English as a second language at age 13, and discovered his interest in graphic design while working for an architectural firm at age 16. He has won numerous design awards and recently redesigned the front page of the Shoreline CC newspaper. He will continue his studies at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.

Justin Baker (Bellingham) — Having overcome homophobia and a hostile home environment as a Louisiana teen, Justin is energetically pursuing his goals. After completing prerequisites at Whatcom Community College, he'll transfer to the UW Business School, where he'll earn a business degree with his sights on being a CPA.

Efren Chacon (Yakima) — Efren, a second year GSBA scholar, is attending Seattle Central CC, and plans to transfer to the UW to study psychology. Mr. Gay Seattle and Mr. Gay Latino in 2001, Efren is a health educator with People of Color Against Aids Network. He says, "Being involved with the gay community helped me to accept myself. I learned that no matter what we are, we have to go for our feelings."

Sergio Cueva Flores (Bellevue) — Sergio is studying communications/mass media at Seattle U after a very active student career at Seattle Central CC. Founder of Mano-a-Mano, he plans to use his photography skills and mass communications training to promote knowledge and empowerment for underrepresented Hispanic students and other minority groups.

Verdena Gardner (Seattle) — After being kicked out of her home when she came out to her mother, Verdena has become a queer activist and graduated with honors from Highline Community College. She has presented workshops and developed an online information hub to increase GLBT student safety. She will be studying psychology and Spanish at the UW, and plans to teach or continue research in Human Sexuality.

Elliat Graney-Saucke (Olympia) — Elliat's activism in school and community began at age 13. Currently attending Seattle Central, her education theme is Social Justice and Community Organizing around Arts in the Queer Community. She uses creativity and artistic expression to integrate diversity in her community.

Whitney Kershner (Seattle) — The only "out" lesbian at Chief Sealth High School, Whitney has been president of the Gay Straight Alliance. She plans to attend Western or Evergreen in preparation for becoming a high school counselor. She wants to help gay and straight students embrace their strengths and weaknesses.

Steven Neff (Graham) — Steven is studying Economics and Pre-Law at Dean College in Massachusetts. He wants to assist homosexuals with defining themselves under law and the Constitution. He is the founder of Gay Youth Unity Project, a non-profit organization to benefit gay youth. Steven hopes to travel to South Africa this summer to work on HIV/AIDS issues.

LeMar Oleson (Seattle) — A committed father of two boys, LeMar is working at Swedish Medical Center while completing prerequisites at North Seattle Community College for pursuing a degree in humanities at the UW. He hopes to work in Human Resources.

Anthony Ricardi (Seattle) — Soul searching from Massachusetts to Illinois to Seattle brought Anthony's transition from female to male. Anthony is an activist, student and lover of everything the worldthrows at him. He will be focusing on social services at Seattle Central Community College, and hopes to open a shelter for queer homeless youth. Eventually, he wants to be a nurse and publish books.

Tenzin Tingkhye (Seattle) — Born in India and raised in America, Tenzin was the Lang. Arts Dept. Scholar of her graduating class at Ingraham H.S. Tenzin's video work has been screened in New York, San Diego, South Korea, and the Pacific NW. A video she edited is receiving the Family and Society award at the fourth Annual Media That Matters Festival. She will prepare for a career in documentary and feature filmmaking at Evergreen.

Tanner Vea (Auburn) — Tanner, a second year GSBA scholar and outstanding student, is attending Bard College in New York. His career is yet to be determined, but undoubtedly will include his areas of interest, including anthropology, literature, and gender studies.

Jose Vellegas (Seattle) — Jose has lived in the U.S. for only two years. He is working on English as a second language and plans to attend Seattle Central Community College to study computers. A volunteer with Entre Hermanos, where he started a youth group, jovenes de hoy, Jose also plays on the only all-gay volleyball team in Washington State. Jose wants to spread the word that everyone can go to college.

Lisa Washington (Everett) — Lisa, a single mother of two, returned to college after a 20-year hiatus to become an honor student at Everett Community College. She will be attending Western Washington University, majoring in secondary education, and concentrating on English. Lisa's plans include graduate work to prepare for becoming a principal and superintendent.

Zhen Zhen Yuan (Seattle) — Zhen Zhen is a third year GSBA Scholar studying management and human resources at the UW. She has lived on her own since coming out to her family. Her motivation is to show that a Chinese Lesbian can be a successful and powerful businesswoman.


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.

Colin Kennedy Donovan, a trans (dis)abled activist with Cerebral Palsy, uses poetry and visual arts and her studies in disabilities, race, gender and sexuality to highlight an underrepresented voice in ourcommunity. Colin will attend Evergreen, where s/he plans to examine the role of the arts as vehicles for justice and social change.

Kenneth "Andy" Hill (Spokane) — Kenneth attended three different high schools in two years and survived a suicide attempt to become an active volunteer in the GLBT teen community. He will attend Spokane Falls Community College and pursue a health degree, coupled with Non-Profit studies. Kenneth plans to work with youth in the LGBTQ community to help them feel safe.

Garrett B. Kellogg (Edmonds), Having a Gay father and mentally handicapped sister, Garrett's challenge has been standing up for his family. He is graduating from Meadowdale HS in Lynnwood, and plans to study art, psychology and/or German studies at WSU, Western or University of Puget Sound. He is an advocate for the LGBT community and volunteers for The Special Olympics.

Kathryn "Katie" Kolan (Snohomish) — Katie overcame a very challenging high school experience, facing the illness of her father and the politics of high school. She is now studying law, societies and justice, and minority and disability studies at the UW, and aims for Law School in the near future. An avid rugby player, Kathryn is also cochair of the City of Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities.

Back to Top