Our 2016 Solarity Scholarships
We are proud to announce our five winners in the 2016 Solarity Scholarship Program. Solarity members Emma Argo, Brooke Eshleman, Katrina Johnson, Sara Johnson and Trenton Straehle each will receive a $2,400 scholarship to help pay for their higher education expenses next school year. Congratulations to our winners! Each scholarship applicant was asked how they have made positive things happen in their communities and these members have! Learn more about what they have done for their communities and where they are headed.
Emma is a Zillah High School graduate who attended Central Washington University from 2009-11. This spring, she has been studying at Western Governors University, with a focus on special education. She spent the past three years working for the Sunnyside and Selah school districts, and volunteered for Selah Nazarene Church. She also has been active in the community as an Influence Team Leader for the Selah School District and as a Youth President at Zillah Nazarene Church. One of her accomplishments was helping bring back an after-school program for Selah middle-schoolers called “The Hangout.” She enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, running and camping.
Fun fact: Emma summited Mount Adams last summer.
Brooke is graduating from Selah High School and will attend Washington State University, where she plans to pursue a degree in business management. She participates in ASB, Senior Council, the National Honor Society and the Link Crew mentorship program, and also played basketball and softball for the high school. She volunteers with Children’s Village and helps organize and plan high school events, including coordinating a volleyball tournament last year that raised money to provide clean drinking water for students in Kenya. In her free time, Brooke enjoys creating memories with family and friends.
Fun fact: Brooke is terrified of “two-legged, feathered animals that fly. Yep, birds.”
Katrina is graduating from Toppenish High School and will be attending Concordia University Irvine in Southern California to study sports science and physical therapy. She has volunteered at sporting events for her high school and was a volunteer assistant/apprentice swim team coach. Her community involvement activities include the Toppenish High School Leadership program and the Yakima Alliance Church youth group. She is an activities coordinator for her school’s National Honor Society chapter, has been involved in ASB, and served as a peer leader in the Performance Training program. One of her major accomplishments was helping start the first-ever swim team at her high school. After developing the program for three years, the team went to state this season.
Fun fact: Katrina traveled to China last year to compete in an international swim meet.
Sara is graduating from La Salle High School and will attend the University of San Diego, with a focus on biology and pre-dental school studies. She was on the soccer and track teams at La Salle and volunteered her time in Student Life Leadership, student government, Cooking Club and the National Honor Society. Outside of school, she worked as a tutor for LEAP Tutoring and has volunteered for Northwest Harvest and the Service Learning program. For one of her community projects, she helped collect more than 100 pairs of socks for the Union Gospel Mission in Yakima. She is involved in her family’s small businesses and enjoys hiking, kayaking, jet skiing and other outdoor pursuits.
Fun fact: One year, the adventurous Sara broke her arm and foot within six months of each other.
Trenton is graduating from Highland High School and will be attending Boise State University, where he hopes to pursue a degree in pre-veterinary medicine. He played baseball for Highland and the Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak, and participated in the school marching band and jazz band. He is also involved in Knowledge Bowl, DECA, student leadership and student government. Outside of school, he works as a youth baseball instructor and mentor every Sunday, teaching younger players fundamentals and how to approach the game mentally. Besides playing baseball, Trenton also enjoys spending time with his family, going shooting with his grandfather and exploring the outdoors.
Fun fact: Trenton is very outgoing and loves making other people smile.
2015 Scholarship Winners
Theresa Barney graduated from Wapato High School and will be attending Brigham Young University-Idaho. Theresa and her father were involved in an automobile accident that changed her life. In the hospital she observed the nurses courageously working to help her dad. This experience affected her so much that she knew she wanted to help people in medical situations. She now is an aspiring nurse and will use this scholarship to help achieve her goal.
Shavali Dave graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago and will be attending Heritage University. Shavali has a desire to bring awareness to health care access and delivery, specifically for primary and preventive care to those in underserved and urban localities. This scholarship will help relieve the financial burden of her medical education.
Sy Ruiz graduated from A.C. Davis High School and will be attending University of Washington. Sy is an aspiring business owner and plans to run for a state legislature position in the future. He is committed to serving and helping others for the betterment of the community. This scholarship will help him reach his academic and career goals.
Jacob Stucki graduated from West Valley High School and will be attending Brigham Young University. Jacob achieved the Eagle Scout award from Boy Scouts of America. He has a passion for helping others and plans to work in the medical field. This scholarship will help him fulfill his dream of becoming a specialized nurse.
Diana Tran graduated from University of Washington and will be attending Heritage University. The example her parents set of sacrifice and perseverance after emigrating from Vietnam to America in the 1970s has given Diana the inspiration and drive to achieve her goals. This scholarship will ultimately help her become a better healthcare provider by offering her the opportunity to pursue her education.