2013 Scholars


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Anthony Sims

An incredible vocalist, Anthony is pursuing a major in commercial music at Milliken University. In addition to his coursework, Anthony has participated in an early music group known as the Tudors, helped found and run an a capella group, been a member of the Collegiate Choral, and served as Vice President of the Men’s Choir. In an effort to alleviate the financial burdens of college, Anthony successfully became a Resident Advisor for his sophomore and junior year, earning himself free room and board. This continues a persistent trend in Anthony’s life, in which he creatively overcomes the many obstacles put in his way.


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Maddie Scanlan

We came to know Maddie through the song she submitted for her DSSF application about a friend who lost his fight with drug addiction. We were blown away then, and continue to be blown away by Maddie’s kindness and hard work. She took full advantage of her first year at Lawrence University, engaging in diverse coursework that ranged from film studies to psychology. In her sophomore year, she continued these pursuits and spent her spring semester in London studying the arts. Beyond her studies, Maddie performed in several plays and performance pieces, while also serving as a tutor at the local YMCA.


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Elizabeth Fernandez

Elizabeth managed to keep a 3.99 weighted GPA during her time at Central, while also volunteering at the local YMCA and helping look after her younger siblings while her mother worked to support the family. As she put in her application, “I plan to take the opportunity presented to me in this country to show my little brother and baby half-sister that we can make it far too, that we have the ability to succeed in life just like any other.” This dedication was obvious during her first two years at Augsburg, where Elizabeth continued to excel in her studies and became heavily involved in the Art Club, as well as the Latin American and Asian Student associations on campus.


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Naajee Dennis

The spoken word poem submitted by Naajee for her DSSF application captivated the Scholarship Board. Since then, she has continued to demonstrate that same creativity, and with encouragement from her DSSF mentor, Hope Lockett, she has started performing at open mics in the area. During her first two years at Concordia, Naajee found the time to participate on the softball team, the cheer squad, and become President of Umoja, a group dedicated to addressing issues affecting students of color on campus. Naajee has graduated and is currently working in Education.


2014 Scholars


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Ger Moua

An embodiment of DSSF’s commitment to supporting students with a creative vision, Ger struggled to decide whether his application should highlight his drawing, photography, film directing or music composing skills. As a compromise, he submitted all of them! In addition to these creative passions, Ger also spent his senior year getting up at 5 AM every day to go to work, returning to Central at 10:30 AM to begin his academic day. Ger has excelled in his first year at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, taking courses in drawing, graphic design, and filmmaking. He dreams of someday working for a major animation company and is currently writing, directing, and editing a feature length film.


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Quinessa Stibbins

A scan of Quinessa’s application showed us that she had already perfected the type of time management skills needed to succeed in college, as she was able to balance her role as captain of the cheerleading team, producer and choreographer on the drama board, and a 3.7 GPA. Her determination was confirmed by her recommender, who told us about Quinessa choosing to stay in the hospital with her aunt, which forced her to write an entire college essay on her phone! Quinessa had a fantastic freshman year at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities and was admitted into competitive apparel design courses for her second year.


2015 Scholars


Hlee Xiong

Hlee just finished up her second year at the University of Minnesota, where she has been heavily involved in a Hmong learning living community. During the 2017-18 year, she will be on board for a Hmong Women's Student Group called Viivncaus at the U of MN and will also be returning as a Community Adviser for the Hmong House.

She won our hearts with her submission of a play on an ancient Japanese legend which promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the Gods.  Hlee took this to the next level by creating 999 paper cranes and then putting them all together to create the 1,000 crane.


Janesy Alberto

Janesy completed her first year at Augsburg College and will be transferring to St. Cloud State University for her sophomore year where she will pursue a Political Science and Communications double major.  As an immigrant from Belize, Janesy aspires to use the skills she gains from these majors to fight for the rights of the many voiceless members in our society.  


2016 Scholars


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Jamarques Robinson

Jamarques inspired us with his application in which he used his acting skills to explore difficult, personal topics. As he put it “With acting, I have gained the power to do or say anything I want through the expression of theater.” We are so excited to see what Jamarques will accomplish!


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Angela Vang

Angela has a "fascination with people, truth, and connection." She recognizes the importance of culture, race and politics in modern society and wants to combine her love for critical analysis and writing in a career in journalism.  Angela will attend the University of Minnesota, as the first member of her family to attend a four year college.  


2017 Scholars


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Natalie Della Selva

Natalie exemplifies our desire to support students who show a creative vision for their lives. In her application, she discussed her desire to develop a business concentrated around sustainable textiles and gender neutral clothing. In doing so, she demonstrates her self-description as an artist focused on combining social advocacy with creative designs. She will be attending Columbus College of Art and Design.


Isabelle Natrop

Isabelle managed to combine her two passions in her scholarship application: marine biology and photography. In addition to this, her writing simply amazed us. As she wrote "Writing released me from the expectations of others. Furthermore, when I discovered photography I revealed the vast sea of emotions and perspectives that surrounded me. The silent beauty that I found in the mixture of words and images created a unique blend of identities that I saw reflected in myself." She will be attending Augsburg College.