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Eleven ActSix Scholars Coming to Bethel

ActSix finalists for Bethel University participated in a group activity during their visit to campus in February.

Urban Ventures’ ActSix program recently announced the names of 11 emerging urban and community leaders who will receive scholarships to Bethel University next year. An additional nine students will attend University of Northwestern-St. Paul and seven will attend Augsburg College in Minneapolis as part of the inaugural class of ActSix scholars in the Twin Cities. 

Selected through a rigorous three-month competition among more than 200 applicants, these diverse student leaders were selected for their distinctive leadership, academic potential, and commitment to making a difference in their communities. “We were really impressed with all of the students who attended the ActSix finalist events at Bethel a few weeks ago, and we believe in the ActSix mission to equip urban leaders,” says Bret Hyder, director of admissions for Bethel’s College of Arts & Sciences.

“The ActSix partnership with community affiliate Urban Ventures has proven to be a very successful process and model by which to identify and recruit under-reached and underserved populations into Bethel,” says Ruben Rivera, Bethel’s chief diversity officer.  “Of the well over 200 applications that resulted from the recruitment process, more than 70 applicants chose Bethel as their first choice college, and after a months-long very competitive and rigorous process, 11 of that number were chosen for the scholarship.”

Launched in 2002 by the Northwest Leadership Foundation in Tacoma, Washington, ActSix seeks to develop urban and community leaders to be agents of transformation on campus and in their home communities. Since the program’s inception, 61 cohorts of ethnically diverse, mostly first-generation, low-income ActSix scholars have enrolled at eight colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest. This year, ActSix expanded its reach and developed a program site to serve Twin Cities' students in collaboration with South Minneapolis nonprofit Urban Ventures.

“Nearly 85%of ActSix alumni have brought their degrees back home to serve and lead in their communities, and more than a quarter are pursuing or have earned graduate degrees,” says Marquise Dixon, Twin Cities ActSix Program Director. “Together, these connected and educated alumni are forming a fabric of leadership that is working to make their communities more vibrant and just.”

Graduation and retention rates of ActSix scholars far exceed national averages. Six ActSix scholars have been elected as student-body presidents, and scholars are often involved in leadership roles on campus and in the community. 

The inaugural ActSix scholarship recipients for Bethel University are:

  • Matthew Anfinson, Hope Academy
  • Bernard Assibey, Highland Park Senior High School
  • Raygen Brown, Centennial High School
  • Vivian Chavez, Irondale Senior High School
  • Dah Dah, Como Park Senior High School
  • Michelle Gallegos Guillen, Como Park Senior High School
  • Diamond Jackson, DeLaSalle High School
  • Wendy Lorenzo-Sanchez, Roosevelt High School
  • Marco Ochoa, Irondale Senior High School
  • Maricella Xiong, Community of Peace Academy
  • Svannan Yang, Central High School


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