Champions of Diversity

Champions of Diversity

Published: December 18, 2013

For their academic achievements and ability to overcome adversity, UW Bothell has awarded $10,000 scholarships to high school seniors Rafael Ponce-Venegas and Juanita Rosales. Their awards are part of the $228,422 awarded to students at the Champions of Diversity Awards that took place at Skagit Valley College.

At La Conner High School, Ponce-Venegas has worked hard to maintain a 3.7 GPA while taking a rigorous course load, volunteering, and participating in sports. Ponce-Venegas’ nomination reflects a young man who has been raised in a family of very hard workers. His mother worked to gain citizenship, and was even in danger of being deported. Now that they are in a better place, the family still works hard to make ends meet and to gain respect where old prejudices still exist. Ponce-Venegas plans to study engineering.

Juanita Rosales also takes a rigorous course load at Mount Vernon High School. She is a mentor, founding member of Art Club, involved in Young Democrats, and editor-in-chief and advertising manager for the school newspaper. In her nomination, Rosales is described as a survivor. She was raised by her sister. Her father passed away in 2001 and her mother is often too ill to care for her. She will be the first in her family to go to college. Rosales will pursue an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a Masters in International Business or Accounting.

Jill Orcutt, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management, says Rosales and Ponce-Venegas will enrich the academic experience on the UW Bothell campus, “We are pleased to welcome Champion of Diversity scholarship recipients to the UW Bothell community,” she says. “These students contribute academic excellence and demonstrated leadership to one of the most diverse college campuses in the state. The Champion of Diversity program benefits under-represented students with a pathway to achieve their dreams. We are honored to be part of that journey.”