Meet Our Scholars

2018 Scholars

2018 scholars lo res
2018 Scholars (L-R: Gabriela Lopez Jimenez, Sophie Poole, Arwa Mokdad, Michelle King)

GABRIELA LOPEZ JIMENEZ, 2018 Scholar, Rainier Beach High School

“Stanley Ann Dunham believed that every group of people had something to give. Building relationships with people everywhere you go makes a huge impact on your life and you teach as well as learn from others.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Volunteer, Guatemalan hospital, Global Visionaries
  • Stylist, director, Village Theatre Kidstage Originals New Musical Program
  • Volunteer, tap shows
  • Tutor, elementary school students
  • Employee, family taco truck (worked lunches)

Update: Rising freshman, University of Washington Honors Program

In her own words (from the 2018 Award Ceremony):


SOPHIE POOLE, 2018 Scholar, Mercer Island High School

“Like Stanley Ann Dunham, I wrote for the newspaper at Mercer Island High School. Like Stanley Ann Dunham, I was not afraid to speak truth to power. Like Stanley Ann Dunham, I learned to challenge the status quo.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Co-Editor in Chief, MIHS student newspaper
  • Co-President and Founder, MIHS Stay Woke Club
  • Leader, Movement for Gender-Neutral Restrooms at MIHS
  • Organizer, Write-In to protest Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar
  • Playwright, Village Theatre Kidstage Originals New Musical Program
  • Board member, Teen Tix Program

Update: Rising freshman, Barnard College

In her own words (from the 2018 Award Ceremony):

ARWA MOKDAD, 2018 Scholar, Mercer Island High School

“Change is happening all over the globe, and I want to be a part of that movement toward justice and equality for all…. Through vigor and an optimistic outlook, mountains can be moved.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Member, Mercer Island Teen Advisory Board
  • Organizer, community event, “Faces Beyond the Ban,” a panel of immigrants from banned countries who discussed their culture and history
  • Fundraiser, Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation
  • Officer, MIHS Gender Equality Club
  • Vice President, MIHS International Club
  • Member, MIHS ACLU Club
  • Co-president, MIHS Amnesty International Club
  • Co-president, MIHS Stay Woke Club

Update: Rising freshman, University of Washington

In her own words (from the 2018 Award Ceremony):

MICHELLE KING, 2018 Scholar, Rainier Beach High School

“I had to grow up fast and while I was displaced at one point just like Miss Stanley, we both found our way and we’re trying to do some good.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Tutor, elementary and middle school students
  • Volunteer, Children’s Summer Program
  • Captain, RBHS Girls Basketball Team

Update: Rising freshman, Clark Atlanta University

2017 Scholars

2017 finalists
Emily Au and Christine Lee

CHRISTINE LEE, 2017 Scholar, Mercer Island High School

“I feel all children and young adults have the right to education and nutritious food.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Volunteer, “Reach Out and Read”: helped establish a Reach Out and Read program at a local pediatric clinic; read to sick children in the waiting room; involved in distributing 10,000 books to diverse and under-served children
  • Tutor, second grader
  • Creator and owner, bakery goods to help support and provide awareness of Teen Feed, a local soup kitchen

Update: Freshman, University of Washington

EMILY AU, 2017 Scholar, Rainier Beach High School

“The idea of social activism and fighting for equity reflects Stanley Ann’s life work. Her beliefs and values continue to spread through the minds of active empowered young women like myself.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Senior Class President
  • Community activist: helped convince the Seattle School District to purchase free transportation (Orca) cards to all students who qualify for free or reduced lunch

Update: Freshman, University of Washington

2016 Scholars

Holly Waggoner, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Rose Guttman

Holly Waggoner, 2016 Scholar

“I am driven to explore opportunities to further girls’ education and to create a world where this is not a privilege, but a right.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Volunteer, PETRI (Philanthropy, Education, Teaching, Research and Involvement), which provides secondary school scholarships to girls in Taita Taveta County in Kenya
  • SafeRides officer, Mercer Island (provides designated drivers)
  • Head of Sponsorship, Relay for Life Committee MIHS (raises funds for cancer research and awareness)
  • Member, Senior Service Club, MIHS (organizes volunteers at school-related events)

Update: Sophomore, Santa Clara University, business school; summer 2017: interned for MiResource, a startup that helps fight mental illness

Rose Guttman, 2016 Scholar, 2017-18 SADF Scholar Ambassador*

“I’ve seen how I  can make a positive impact at  my job and with other students in my classes. I strive to broaden that impact on our society, country and the whole world.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Volunteer, local hospital, Antigua, Guatemala, Global Visionaries
  • Volunteer, King Country vegetable farm
  • Volunteer, Mercer Island VOICE (Volunteer Outreach in Communities Everywhere)

Update: Sophomore, University of Washington; major: Human Centered Design and Engineering and American Sign Language

*Rose is our 2017-18 Scholar Ambassador, who is working to form a community among the scholars, and between the scholars and the Board and Advisory Board.

2015 Scholars

Naomi Moore and Adrienne Suhm

Naomi Moore, 2015 Scholar

“Talk to people around you. Be open and be willing to have an informed opinion…keep in mind that discussing is different than arguing; real progress comes from being open to other views.””

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Member, Teen Advisory Council, Mercer Island Library: creator and moderator, community discussions of social justice issues
  • Co-founder, MIHS Amnesty International Club

Update: Sophomore, Seattle Central Community College, with a concentration in psychology; classroom volunteer, Childhaven; member of the SADSF Board

Adrienne Suhm, 2015 Scholar

“Thank you again for bringing me deeper into the world of microfinance and anthropology through this amazing scholarship!”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Chief Operating Officer, Mercer Trade Inc., a corporation operated by the students of the International Entrepreneurship class: oversaw the buying and selling of goods produced by family-owned businesses in developing countries and donated the profits to Seattle-based charities
  • Chapter President, DECA
  • Member, Senior Service Club, MIHS

Update: Junior, University of Southern California; major: World Bachelor in Business; spent her sophomore year at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and will spend her junior year at the University of Bocconi in Milan

2014 Scholars

Ellena Jones and Rachel Gallagher

Ellena Jones, 2014 Scholar

“The Stanley Ann Dunham scholarship has enabled me to take time off from my work/study job to focus on academics during my first semester of college. It will also allow me to continue my volunteer work in Seattle working with young people in transition from foster care.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Tutor, Seattle Music Partners
  • Volunteer, Mercer Island Youth and Family Services

Update: graduated from UW (2018) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and was recognized as one of this year’s Husky 100 students who have made the most of their time at UW. She is now working as a Case Manager at Therapeutic Health Services at The Center for Experiential Learning & Diversity.

Rachel Gallagher, 2014 Scholar

“I will emulate Stanley Ann by dedicating myself to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by autism.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Founder, Friendship Circle for Special Needs Students, MIHS
  • Intern, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, autism study

Update: Graduated from Carleton College magna cum laude in 2018 with a BA in Sociology/Anthropology; minor: Biochemistry,

Sarah Bahn, Maya Soetoro-Ng and Hannah Frisch
Sarah Bahn, Maya Soetoro-Ng and Hannah Frisch

2013 Scholars

Sarah Bahn, 2013 Scholar

“Given the choice between hope and cynicism, action and resignation, I do not see a choice. There is work to be done. I have something to give that no one else can, and that is me.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Member, Youth Board, Childhaven, Seattle nonprofit for abused and neglected children
  • Tutor, Beacon Hill International School, a Title 1 school in Seattle
  • Volunteer, Hammond House, a homeless shelter for women

Update: 2017 BA, Peace and Justice Studies, Tufts University; currently works at United Way of King County 

Hannah Frisch, 2013 Scholar

“Though I have a much different lifestyle than people I work with, we share innate human characteristics that ultimately connect us all.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Volunteer, soup kitchen at Operation Nightwatch in Seattle
  • Volunteer, homeless shelter work at Surviving the Streets
  • Volunteer, Real Change, a newspaper that supports the homeless
  • Tutor, Seattle Music Partners

Update: 2017 BA, Political Science and History, University of Washington Honors program; spent junior year at University of Edinburgh, Scotland; spent sophomore year in the Czech Republic

2012 Scholar

Former Board Chair Dayna Cole, Suzanne Gaber, and Advisory Council Member Tony Nugent

Suzanne Gaber, MIHS 2012

“It is my ultimate goal to work as a Middle East correspondent to ensure that the world does not forget the atrocities in human rights that have occurred around the globe.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Tutor, Notet Bedaya, Cairo, Egypt, which works with students in low-income communities
  • Tutor elementary and middle school students, Bellevue Library
  • Volunteer, Angeline’s Women Shelter in Seattle

Update: 2016 BA International Relations, American University; Assistant Editor at The WorldPost in NYC, part of the Washington Post; plans to eventually work as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East

2011 Scholar

Kyle Wunderlin

Kyle Kercher Wunderlin, 2011 Scholar

“I am writing this update from the Haitian mountain town of Kenscoff, where I will be spending the next two weeks helping construct a community center and adjoining orphanage.”””

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Helped set up a school in Letho, Africa and worked with students on subsequent trips
  • Outreach Leader, Lake Union Crew

Update: 2015 BA, Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, Huxley College, Western Washington University, with a minor in design and disaster risk reduction 

2010 Scholars

2010 Applicants. Scholars in back row: Kristine Fu, 1st from left, Khia Johnson, 2nd from left, Emma Thompson, 2nd from right

Khia Johnson, MIHS 2010

“To live cohesively alongside one another, despite all disagreements and differences…is the only place where peace can be born.”

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Sponsored a young girl in Honduras through World Vision
  • Spent her junior year of high school in Chile

Update: 2014 BA, University of Washington; currently earning PhD in linguistics, University of British Columbia; Her primary research interests are in second language acquisition, speech perception, production, and computer-assisted language learning

Kristine Fu, 2010 Scholar

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Volunteer, World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse fighting injustice and poverty
  • Volunteer, Tusubira, empowering women in Uganda through job education

Update: 2014 BS Biology, University of Pennsylvania; currently attending School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Emma Thompson, 2010 Scholar

High School Activities and Volunteer Work:

  • Volunteer, Mercer Island Communities that Care
  • Volunteer, Old Firehouse Teen Center, City of Redmond
  • Organizer, benefit for a Thai orphanage