by Isaac Price | Staff Writer
This spring, Whitworth announced the nine Act Six scholarship recipients for fall 2021, according to a Whitworth press release. Students Ashlee Gardipee, Tatum Getchell, Quentin Swett, Sophia Turningrobe, Elisa Vigil, Luis Carrera-Lara, Emma Fualaau, Jacob Hutchens and Litzy Soltero-Arriaga competed among 1,100 applicants across several schools in the Northwest to win full-ride scholarships to Whitworth.
“[These students] were chosen for their commitment to serving on campus and at home, passion for learning, eagerness to foster intercultural relationships and willingness to step out of their comfort zones,” the press release said.
According to Alexis Nicholson, Act Six program supervisor for the Northwest, the program rewards students with both leadership history and potential.
“Act Six is an opportunity for us to connect emerging leaders to the universities that they want to attend. . . . We provide them with opportunities to grow their leadership and mold what type of vision they see for themselves, figure out the changes they want to make in their community and learn how to transition their leadership on campus into those communities they want to serve,” Nicholson said.
The search committee looks for students who are not only talented and leadership-minded, but who have hearts to give back to their communities.
“We are looking for someone who is super resilient and committed to utilizing their education to make things happen, someone who has the potential to hone and own their leadership and be great,” Nicholson added.
With this scholarship comes great responsibility. Whitworth’s Act Six overseer and director for student diversity, equity and inclusion Ayaka Dohi outlined some of the commitments for the scholars during their time at college.
“Our Act Six recipients go through training in the spring of senior year and summer, take leadership classes while at Whitworth, participate in 10 hours of community service minimum each semester, do some group service with their cadre every semester and attend a summer leadership conference each year,” Dohi said.
The pandemic and this past academic year have proved challenging for Cadre 18, the current first-year Act Six class at Whitworth. Dohi spoke to their struggles.
“This semester, [many] first-year Act Six scholars felt really out of place in the community. . . Doing virtual classes is very disengaging and unmotivating, and so transitioning to college curriculum without that in-person support was super challenging,” Dohi said.
With the slated return to normal operations in fall of 2021, Dohi is hopeful that the incoming Act Six class will receive a more fulfilling experience.
“I’m excited for Cadre 19 to know what it’s like to be in-person at Whitworth, to participate in in-person service and to do the kind of community building we usually do,” Dohi said.
One incoming Act Six recipient and member of Cadre 19 is Litzy Soltero-Arriaga, a Latina student from Enumclaw High School in Washington. Soltero-Arriaga experienced extreme emotion at the news of her award.
“[I] was absolutely shocked. . . . I didn’t understand why I got selected, but I didn’t need to understand either. All I knew was that God paved a way for me, just like he always does,” Soltero-Arriaga said.
Soltero-Arriaga hopes to use her education and leadership training to serve people through government.
“At Whitworth, I will be majoring in Political Science and hopefully running for Congress in the near future. I believe that with the education I receive I will be able to start the change we’ve been needing to see in our government. . . . My simple prayer is that God will use me to give back to my community and pave a way where everyone has a fair shot at life,” Soltero-Arriaga said.
To learn about the other members of Act Six Cadre 19, or more about the Act Six program at Whitworth, email email@example.com or visit https://www.whitworth.edu/cms/administration/admissions/act-six-leadership-and-scholarship-initiative/