Cohort 2012

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Salyssa Alers

I am Salyssa Alers, and will be graduating from Cholla High Magent school in Tucson, Arizona. In my time at Cholla I have been a mentor to my peers, joined several clubs on campus, and I am a candidate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. When I am not busy with school work I like to spend time with my family, and volunteering at various local organizations. I am very excited to be attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism this fall. Attending this school has been my major goal for the past several years and I am looking forward to beginning my journey at Ariona State University.


Olivia Brancati

Hello everyone! My name is Olivia Brancati and I am from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, AZ. In high school I was involved in activities such as Student Government, Cross Country, Track, Robotics, National Honors Society, and many more! I will be studying at Barrett, The Honors College and am pursuing a degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering. I’m thrilled to be a part of LSP, and I can’t wait to meet all of you! Go Sun Devils!


Karl Blasco

Hi! I am Karl Blasco, graduating valedictorian of AAEC High School and South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, AZ. Originally from the southeastern tropics of Manila, Philippines, I have lived in Phoenix since I was 10. As a dually-enrolled high school student, I took part in organizations at both AAEC and South Mountain:  National Honor Society, Student Government, and Be a Leader Club at AAEC; Phi Theta Kappa, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the Honors Program at South Mountain, respectively. I will continue my undergraduate and graduate career at ASU studying industrial engineering as a 4+1 BS/MS program candidate. Fun for me is traveling, going on adventures, and exploring new restaurants, bodies/features of water and land, and my friends’ fridges! Cohort ‘12- black out or back out!


Robert Choueiri

I was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on July 1, 1994, being paired with my two minute older twin brother(who absolutely looks nothing like me) . I have an eldest brother and older sister in the presence of two extraordinary Lebanese parents. I was raised in Mansourieh, Lebanon for 11 years of my life. I am nearly fluent in four languages and  my hobbies include soccer, choir, student council and learning about government. I strive to be as involved as possible and give my time to those around me. Helping others is my biggest joy and family is a large aspect of my life. I will be majoring in Supply Chain Management and Economics, and minoring in Global Studies(however this academic path definitely has room to change). For graduate school I hope to pursue in International Law. One day, I hope to represent America by becoming an Ambassador and making a difference to foreign sovereign. I also hope to one day open an organization in Middle east similar to the UN but is focused in that region of the world’s issues and educates teens on how to coexist amongst one another through civic education and involvement. And I LOVE LSP.


Fitri Cortes

ASU. Leadership. Marine Corps. Honors Societies. Baking. Soccer. Mathematics. This all describes Fitri Cortes. Born and raised here in Arizona, my Colombian and Indonesian family has supported me throughout my life. My second family is my classmates. In May of 2012, I will graduate from a class of eight at Arizona Cultural Academy. ACA has really been my second home since I was nine years old. The Islamic environment made me who I am today. I've learned to hold my values of religion and education in high regard, and so much more. But no joke, I'm ready to leave my class of eight and be a sun devil, one of a lot more than eight! :) I'm majoring in civil engineering (sustainable engineering) at ASU. I'm so blessed for everything that got me to where I am today, with LSP and how God paved the way to my future. I shall leave you with these last words of wisdom, as said perfectly by none other than Lee Brice: "never let your praying knees get lazy & love like crazy!" :) 


David Allen Crowe

Hello World! My name is David Allen Crowe and I was born and raised in the city I love, Phoenix, Arizona. My educational path started at North High School and has now lead me to ASU where I am going to be double majoring in Supply Chain Management and Marketing in the Barrett Honors College. I was a Student Government kid in high school so I'm not shy and I love to meet lots of people and try new things. As for my goals for the future, I am a man of simple taste. I would marry Vanessa Hudgens and coordinate a local recreational basketball league in Waikiki, Hawaii. If this does not work out, I will happily settle for a wife and kids and a job where I can comfortably afford to make my family as happy as they can be. There is much more to learn about me and the best way to find that out is to come an talk to me yourself. I can't wait to meet you all :)


Melissa Gotsch

Melissa Gotsch: a loyal, passionate, outgoing, and dynamic Scorpio. I was born in Chicago Illinois to two wonderful parents Lynne and Ken Gotsch. Two years later, my younger sister Rachel came into our lives. My parents instilled a religious value in my life at a very early age. Going to church every Sunday is a must. Starting in Kindergarten, I attended Saint Juliana’s Catholic grade school. My Catholic education is extremely important to me. To further my education, I enrolled at the all girls’ catholic high school Resurrection College Prep in Chicago Illinois. While receiving a wonderful education, I become involved in many clubs, sports, and volunteer work. Becoming president of Key Club, Fitness Club, and World Traditions Club was not easy work. Continuing to play volleyball and soccer was also difficult while trying to remain in the Resurrection National Honors Society. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family in my spare time; summer is my favorite season; and becoming a dentist is my dream.


Alexis La Benz

I plan to major in Business (Communication) and minor in Social Entrepreneurship through Barrett Honors College. Last year as a Bank of America Student Leader, I learned a lot about the non- profit and business sectors – which fascinate me. I am passionate about spreading awareness of human trafficking through presentations with a nonprofit group I co-founded, GS GEMS, and through my website I have been a part of Girl Scouts for 13 years and was honored this year as a National Young Woman of Distinction by GSUSA. Besides community outreach, I love meeting new people and travelling. I have been in choir since I can remember, and when I am not singing in choir, I am probably singing around the house, in the car, or with friends out in public. This year, one of my dreams came true… my choir was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall. Another dream is to live one day in New York City as CEO of Girl Scouts USA. I am ecstatic to begin this journey at ASU as part of the LSP family.


Miguel Lopez

Hello! My name is Miguel Lopez and I graduated from Desert Ridge High School in East Mesa. Throughout high school I have participated in a variety of clubs such as Student Council, Project Lead the Way, Math Club, and Ourtown. I have also participated in Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute at ASU and HOBY at NAU. Some quick facts about me are: I can speak both Spanish and English, I am one of the biggest diehard ASU football fans you will ever meet, I love to play games such as League of Legends and Diablo III, and I love everything about computers. I hope to graduate ASU with my masters in Computer Systems engineering through the 4+1 program and enter the work field shortly after. My dream job would be to work in a cubicle. Something about sitting in an enclosed space sounds extremely appealing to me because I could work alone and seek help from other people around me. I am very excited to attend ASU because I will finally get the chance to start on my career. 


Evelyn Luna

I am originally from California and get to blow out candles every January 8th since 1994. I lived in a small city called Pacoima until about 5yrs ago when I moved out to Arizona with my family, to the city of San Tan Valley. I'm a huge animal lover of every kind and even do well with reptiles. My favorite hobbies are running, shopping, and interacting with both humans and animals. One of my favorite activities since becoming an Arizona resident has been going to the lake to ride wave runners! I graduated from Poston Butte High School on May 30th of 2012 and soon I will embark on life changing journey at ASU, where I will study Animal Biology Science to hopefully become Veterinarian. As part of LSP, I hope not only to enjoy a great experience, but also leave a positive impact at ASU!


Justin Alan Maenner

My name is Justin Alan Maenner and I was born on November 10th, 1993 in Chandler Arizona. I attended Dobson High School for grades 10-12 where I auditioned for the top Orchestra’s at Dobson; Chamber and Symphonic Orchestra’s, and was immediately placed as a 1st violinist. The first year as a member of Dobson’s Symphonic Orchestra, I performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. I participated in many clubs and sports such as Orchestra Council, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Football Leadership Council as the Leadership Captain, Link Crew as a member in 11th grade and President in 12th grade, National Honors Society, and Student Success as a tutor. I was involved in extracurricular activities outside of school as a worship team member in the Faith Family Church Worship Band and a member of two club baseball teams. Upon graduating from Dobson High School, I will be attending Barrett Honors College majoring in Digital Culture concentrated in Music and Technological Entrepreneurship.


Cinthia E. Manjarrez

Hello!! My name is Cinthia E. Manjarrez and I’m from Ajo Arizona. I graduated Valedictorian from Ajo High School. I’m originally from Paramount, California but I later (age 11) moved to Culiacan, Sinaloa where I lived for three years and attended school and then moved to Arizona. I am a really outgoing person, I love to socialize, and participate in everything. As a High school student I was able to participate in Student Government, and Student Council (President), National Honor Society, Book Club, Tech Club, History Club, Drama Club, Support Group, Peer mentoring, Volleyball, Basketball, Track and Field, and Baseball. As I said I love being active, social, and loud! On my spare time I enjoy walking, exploring, traveling, watching movies, reading, starting new things and helping others. This year I will be majoring in Biological Sciences (Animal Physiology and Behavior). Let me say that I loved high school, but I expect only better from Arizona State University, which is why I am proud to say “I am an LSP member Cohort of 2012!” GO SUN DEVILS!!!


Lea Martin

Hey Everyone! My name is Lea Martin and I’m from Yuma, Arizona. I’m a proud King graduate from Kofa High School, where I was very involved in my school. I was a cheerleader for three years and served as cheer captain one year; I was a Student Government Representative one year as well. My biggest involvement was with the Kofa Royal Dancers where I served three different positions throughout high school and was privileged to be President of the club my senior year. Being President of the Kofa Royal Dancers, I was fortunate to be the director of two successful dance shows, along with leading and choreographing for the team through the year. Outside of school I’ve dance from the age of four, and participated in the 4-H organization from the age of nine. In 4-H, I raised rabbits for all ten years and market goats for three, my greatest accomplishment through 4-H was being titled the Overall Champion Rabbit Showman at the 2012 Yuma County Fair. In August I will be a Business Communications major at the W. P. Carey School. I’m so grateful for the opportunities and possibilities LSP has for me. Let’s go Cohort 2012!!


Soren Mickelsen

Only eighteen years old, I feel like I have a lot to say. I don’t let any one person, situation or feeling define me. Rather I accumulate all the places I’ve been, people I’ve seen, and lessons learnt to comprise my identity. One of my biggest desires leaving high school was if my peers forget how I dressed, sounded, or acted like, they would least remember what I had to say. I have a voice and I intend on using it. Whether I express myself or take a stand in what I believe in, I have the courage to do what I know is right. Family and close friends impact my life daily—molding me into the unique being that I am—whether I’d like to admit it or not. Transformed by my relationship with Christ, I have a personal relationship with God, holding dearly to my faith. With all that life has afforded me I hope to earn a degree in Biomedical Engineering at ASU. I want to work with the Deaf Community because their culture is exceptional. I can’t wait to live the college-LSP dream. I’m Soren Mickelsen and I have a story to tell. . .


Isaac Miller

Hello! My name is Isaac Miller and I am proud to be in the LSP 2012 Cohort! I have been in the Southeast Valley of Phoenix my whole life, inhabiting such exotic places as south Tempe to north Chandler. I attended Grace Community Christian School for elementary school and part of junior high, before I transferred to the beautiful Tempe Preparatory Academy halfway through seventh grade. I have been able to be involved in a lot at Tempe Prep: football, speech and debate, school musicals, etc. I also have enjoyed the curriculum, having been able to read some of the greatest authors of all time, ranging from Dostoevsky to Aquinas. Throughout all of this development, I have been deepened in my faith in the Lord, the sole purpose for my life. I want to have an unexplainable love for Christ, which motivates me to love everyone around me. I am joyful. I love friendships and healthy human relationships of any kind. I’m very eccentric. I will be majoring in Philosophy at Barrett.


Ruben Olmedo

My name is Ruben Olmedo, and I was born and raised in Redlands, California. Throughout my four years at Redlands High School, I was heavily involved in Key Club, Link Crew and HEART Academy. Outside of school I was involved at my church and volunteered at the local hospital. Arizona State University really became a serious idea for school when my grandparents moved to Gilbert, AZ. My grandpa would always give me updates on what was happening on the Sun Devil’s campus and telling me how I could be apart of that. He also included the incentive that if I attended ASU that I could expect a home cooked meal whenever school food wasn’t cutting it and my grandma could do my laundry. It was just about a done deal, but then my dad and I came across this scholarship from ASU to members of Key Club. Reading more into the Leadership Scholarship Program, I decided to take a chance and apply. Getting the call from Janelle Kappes telling me the good news, that I was now apart of the 2012 LSP Cohort - that sealed the deal for me, and I officially became a Sun Devil!


Neha Patel

Hi, my name is Neha Patel. I was born in Flagstaff, Arizona; I went to Payson High School in Payson, Arizona. I am really excited to become a Sun Devil. This year I am majoring in Global Health. Some of my hobbies include drawing, yoga, and photography. My favorite novels are The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Two of the most inspirational people that have inspired me have been Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Seuss. They both serve as my constant inspiration in life. 


Elizabeth Danielle Perry

Hola! My name is Elizabeth Danielle Perry and I am a part of the 2012 Cohort. I will be studying Psychology at ASU in order to someday become a Child Psychologist. I was born and raised in happy Holbrook with seven younger brothers. I am the daughter or a wonderful lady, Mrs. Mellissa Buckley. She taught me to chase after every dream I can imagine. This would be one of the many reasons why I am so involved at my High School. I am a dancer, actress, senior class president, singer, songwriter, guitar player, and choreographer. I am extremely passionate about everything that I do and give everything 100 percent. I am so very excited to be a part of the Leadership Scholarship Program and can't wait to give it all I've got. Life is a stage; you have got to leave your heart and soul out there because once those curtains close there is no going back. Now go live a life of happiness! :)


Reyna Rivera

Hey guys! My name is Reyna Rivera. I grew up in the west side of town, a section of Phoenix that is notorious for crime and danger, as well as a heavily populated Hispanic community. Though it seems horrific, it has molded me into who I am. It has given me the strength and perseverance needed to survive in the real world as I push forward to succeed. I am easy going and I love to smile. I find joy in serving my community and doing all I can to assist others. Through the National Honor Society, I have participated in the Crisis Nursery Drive, the Park Clean-Up project, Reading-Writing Buddy Program, and visited the elderly at the Encanto Palms Nursing Home. My passion in life is music. Music has shaped my character and allowed me to be the vibrant person I am today. In the future I hope to utilize the virtues I have acquired through music and service to aid me in my profession. My desired field of study is child psychology. After becoming a child psychologist, my goal is to create an organization that empowers young children that have faced psychological traumas due to homelessness, child abuse, neglect, and that were taken away from their families by Child Protection Services. Many call me a dreamer, but I say I am a goal-setter. There are times that matters do not go the way I plan them to, but that is the beauty of life. I shoot for the absolute best, and even though I may not always get there, I find myself in a marvelous place. Therefore, no matter what twists and turns await me I am certain I will achieve success.


Matthew Ruland

Hello, my name is Matthew Ruland. I am a graduate from Peoria High School. I am thrilled to attend Arizona State University. Nonetheless, leaving home is oftentimes difficult for me. I love my parents and family dearly. My mindset is always “family first.” Living in Tempe will certainly provide me with an opportunity to experience the “real world” firsthand. One of the greatest experiences of my life was attending Arizona Boys State. This program taught me a tremendous amount regarding government and social skills. Ultimately, I was elected to the Boys State House of Representatives. Athletics have certainly had a huge impact in my life. I was the number one seed on my high school tennis team sophomore, junior, and senior year. My participation in student council undoubtedly afforded me with a fresh outlook on life itself. I now realize serving others is certainly more fulfilling than being placed on the honor roll.


Austen Shipley

I was raised in the small rural town of Globe, Arizona.  Influenced greatly by my family, I grew to have the same set of values as my parents: honesty, loyalty and humility.  My family truly values community service, thus since I was little I have been involved not only in my community but in my faith as well. I have been in many leadership positions such as Student Counsel, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Teen Court as an attorney.  Being active in many sports, I learned the importance of teamwork, especially by those who are all driven by one motive: passion.  I am driven by my passions. I have a caring passion for my friends and family and I show this through my selfless acts.  Also I have passion for both music and soccer.  Music defines me and both provide a means to express myself.  Most importantly, I have a passion to help others. My main goal in life is to be able to always put others first and to provide for everyone as much as I can offer.  I have high hopes for the future and pursue to offer service to all.  I truly enjoy life and see every day as an opportunity to accomplish greatness. 


Katie St. Peter

Hi, I’m Katie St. Peter. I am from Fargo, North Dakota originally, but have been living in Arizona for the past 13 years. I am graduating from Chandler Preparatory Academy and hope to be receiving my Bachelors from the W.P. Carey Business School at ASU and later my MBA. I have been involved in Social Committee, The Mentor Program, Volleyball, Girl Scouts, Key Club, Drama Club, VBS, and a lot of other fun activities at my high school. In High School I really enjoyed our Drama program, not only as an actress but as a lighting designer and director as well. I have also had the chance to play volleyball for the past 4 years, 2 of which were on my school’s Varsity Volleyball team. I love my sport because of the team atmosphere, and all of the connections and friendships I have made through the sport. That is why I am really excited about the LSP program as I find it another opportunity to make lasting friendships and connections while changing the world at the same time. For fun, I like water color painting, volleyball, movie premieres, eating cupcakes, hockey games or ASU games, and going to the beach (who doesn’t).


Julia Thatcher

My name is Julia Thatcher, I am a native to Arizona and have lived here for 11 years now. I recently graduated from Desert Vista high school where I participated in a number of school and community activities. Among a few of the sports and clubs were, improve, student government acting as the student body President, cross-country, and track and field. I enjoy spending time with my family and sister who is currently attending ASU. I am looking forward to being actively involved on the ASU campus.


Hunter Douglas Workman

Born on May 21st of 1993, I, Hunter Douglas Workman, grew up with my older brother, Chris, and younger sister, Amanda. My family and I spent most of my 18 years in Kingman, Arizona. It is in this town that I took interest in music (the guitar, piano, and singing), swimming, and soccer. Away from school, I spent most my time weight training and swimming, life guarding at the city pools, and playing music with various bands. In school, I involved myself in activities I feel passionate about—swimming and soccer. Being the captain of the swim team, I led my fellow swimmers to break school and regional record. In the classroom, I study hard— motivating myself to excel for the sake of my future patients (I want to be a doctor/medical engineer). My past experiences led me to a passion for medical sciences, and influenced my decision of majoring in biomedical engineering. Aside from school, I enjoy mountaineering, playing music, adventures with friends, working out, seeing new things, and meeting new people. I am thrilled and anxious to be a part of LSP!


Bethany Wright

Hey there! My name is Bethany Wright, and I was born and raised in the sunny town of Mesa, Arizona. Growing up in a rather large family of 10 kids, I have found my voice and am not afraid to use it for my love of singing and screaming on rides at Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth and also my second home. At Westwood High School, I was on both the cross country and soccer teams as well as held various positions in student council for all four years. I want to travel and see what’s beyond the AZ sun. My plans for ASU as of now are undecided as I will explore the different majors that focus on writing. Planning to study abroad, I hope to be able to make a difference in the lives of the new people I meet and am stoked for this new chapter of my life. Go Cohort 2012!!!