Cohort 2015

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Safiya Aden

I was born and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. I still remember the day I searched "Arizona" into Google images only to see pictures of cacti. It was a bit horrifying, but five years have passed and I have learned to love the beautiful state I call home: Arizona.

I graduated from Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe. Go Padres! In high school, I was involved in Key Club, Wilderness Adventure Club, Academic Decathlon, French Club, Tempe Youth Leadership Program, Tempe Diversity Dialogues, and I also played varsity tennis. I served as the president for HOSA-Future Health Professionals at my high school and I became involved at the state level where I currently serve as the president for the state of Arizona HOSA. In my state-wide role, I represented over 8,000 members of HOSA-Future Health Professionals. In my spare time, you can find me on the tennis courts or bringing my fashion sketches to life through sewing.

I am passionate about social justice, health care, and public health. At ASU, I will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Barrett, the Honors College. I plan on getting involved in research and joining organizations that focus on health care and social justice. I hope to continue my education and obtain my Doctors of Nursing Practice so I can become a nurse practitioner. With that, I am really excited to be a Sun Devil. Fork'em!

Amanda Alibrandi

I am a graduate of Williams Field High School in Gilbert, Arizona. As someone always excited to get involved, I have participated in numerous clubs and sports throughout high school. I served as Williams Field's DECA president for two years before I was elected as the Arizona DECA State President. Over the course of four years, DECA has benefited me tremendously. My involvement in this organization has pointed me in the direction of my major, business management, as a student in Barrett, The Honors College. Additionally, I served on the Arizona Board of Directors for HOBY, an organization that has taught me the importance of community service.

When I'm not studying or hanging out with friends, you can find me wrapped up in a volunteer project or with my nose stuck in a book. This upcoming year my goal is to expand my network and join a diverse group of organizations on campus. I am honored to be a part of LSP and excited for the opportunity to grow myself and inspire others to become leaders and active community members at ASU. Go Devils!

Thomas Anderson

I was born in Jacksonville, Florida and lived in Atlantic Beach, Florida for 8 years. I moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona and began my schooling there at Starline Elementary. When I entered High School I looked for organizations and clubs that would give me the opportunity to develop skills as well as giving back to the community. I joined National Honor Society and after a couple of years, became the Senior Representative, to better represent the ideas, needs, and visions of the classes of students. We participated in many service events centered around positivity, kindness, and overall well-being. I eventually joined the Future Business Leaders of America, and competed across Arizona in various skill-based tests as well as public speaking competitions.

My involvements helped shape who I am, and looking to my future in Barrett, the Honors College and the W. P. Carey School of Business, I plan to use the skills I have developed to make an impact in the community, and I plan to enter as a Finance major. I am beyond excited to begin this journey, and I am grateful that I will have the opportunity to enter college with the LSP community and family on my side. Go Devils!

Nataly Banuelos

I am a graduate of Camelback High School. Throughout my high school career, I was intensely involved on my campus and in my community. I served as the Student Body President and participated in DECA, National Honor Society, National Honor Society of High School Scholars, Health Occupations Pursing Education (HOPE), EcoSpartans, basketball, and softball. Besides being heavily involved on my high school campus, I also volunteered each year at my neighborhood recreation, where I help coordinate summer programs to underprivileged youth in my community. Giving back to others is my favorite thing to do.

At Arizona State University, I plan to major in Supply Chain Management. My interests in business first began as a junior taking honors marketing and I fell in love with competing, writing, and, most importantly, speaking in front of others. Something that I hope will transition well to my first year at ASU is my academic and social life, as I plan to be involved in as many clubs and programs as my full time schedule permits. I am eager to join the Sun Devil Community and am thankful to be in such a great program such as the Leadership Scholarship Program. I know that LSP will help me transition into the Sun Devil Community throughout my college career and for that I am both thankful and excited!

G. Ivan Bascon

My name is Glenn Ivan Bascon, but close friends call me Ivan. I am a graduate of Red Mountain High School in Mesa, AZ - Go Mountain Lions! I was born on an island called Cebu in the archipelago of the Philippines and then immigrated to the United States when I was 7 years old. America has truly been a land of opportunity. My experiences in the Philippines have manifested into pure grit and vigor to pursue, achieve, and succeed in any of my life endeavors. In high school, I was involved in football, wrestling, AP Bio Club, and National Honor Society. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking, camping, traveling, and being involved in Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR). SSBTR is the largest, student-run nonprofit organization in Arizona, where I relished the opportunity in being one of its Co-Chairs.

My objective now is to truly take advantage of the amazing opportunity bestowed to study and mature as a Barrett scholar at ASU. I aim to major in microbiology and someday become a phenomenal and caring doctor. Being part of the Leadership Scholarship Program family will not only promote further enhancements of my ASU involvement in academia and extracurricular activites, but it will also hopefully allot me the special opportunity to help and give back to the communities that we have grown up in and love. I am proud to call myself a Sun Devil!

Laura Belmont

My two biggest passions are service and science. I am a graduate of Corona del Sol High School, and during my time there, I was fortunate enough to be involved in a variety of organizations. I interned at ASU’s Biodesign Institute, doing research as part of CBDA, and currently am an intern at the Barrow Neurological Institute. As for clubs, I was the president of our Key Club, vice president of our Sci-Fi Club, secretary of our United Food Bank/Fallen Heroes Club, as well as a member of National Honor Society, French Club, and TheatreWorks.

During my time at ASU, I will be majoring in biological sciences, with the genetics, cellular, and developmental biology concentration, and will get a concurrent degree in medicinal biochemistry. I hope to build on my past experiences and contribute to my community, both in the form of work through organizations and scientific research. I intend to get involved in a large amount of clubs, volunteer work, and research as part of a lab that approaches neurological conditions from a molecular, cellular, and genetic perspective.

Sophia Bibbey

I am a recent graduate from Poudre High School in Fort Collins, Colorado. I am so thrilled to be a Sun Devil! Growing up next to the Rocky Mountains, I love to go hiking, fishing, and skiing. I even spent this past summer as a fly fishing guide in Rocky Mountain National Park, so don’t be surprised if you find me in a river casting away! In high school, I was student body president, a peer ambassador, manager for the baseball team, and always looking for a project to better the community.

I will be majoring in nonprofit leadership and management, and I can’t wait to spend my time at ASU involved in a variety of clubs focused on bettering the Downtown Campus atmosphere and being an active LSP member. I am a huge football and baseball fan, as I am extremely excited to catch some Colorado Rockies games at spring training! I am beyond excited to meet my LSP family, who share my love and passion for leadership. Go Sun Devils!

Joseph Bingham

When people ask me where I’m from I can give them one of three answers: I was born in Southern Illinois, spent the longest portion of my life in Brussels, Belgium, and graduated high school from Mountain View High in Orem, Utah. I love to travel and be in new places where I can have new experiences.

In high school, I was privileged enough to serve as the DECA State President, represent my school in a few sports, and move up through the leadership ranks of my school’s Model United Nations, Future Business Leaders of America, and DECA chapters.

Just like in high school, I hope to be engaged in the community at ASU and discover ways to contribute and hopefully make the school a better place. I plan to major in supply chain management while gaining entrepreneurship experience throughout college. Eventually I’d like to use the knowledge and leadership gained from ASU to start a business consulting company that emphasizes in systems management and efficiency.

Kelly Bitler

I am a born-and-raised Arizona native from the town of Queen Creek. Throughout high school, I was involved in DECA, Student Council, National Honor Society, Key Club, Humanitarian Club, and more because I love to be involved in my school. In DECA, I had the opportunity to serve as an Arizona State Representative, where I found my passion leading some of Arizona's best business students. It was an honor and an amazing experience that I will never forget. I also love traveling, volunteering, and making new friends.

At ASU, I hope to be continue to be involved various clubs and organizations on campus. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I do know I want to make a positive difference in my school and community. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the 2015 cohort and look forward to the opportunities I'll have in LSP. I will be attending W.P. Carey and Barrett, The Honors College. Go Devils!

Catalina Brinkerhoff

I was born in San Francisco, California and moved to Oro Valley, Arizona when I was five years old. I am a graduate from Salpointe Catholic High School, where I held a number of leadership positions. Some included being the Community Service Coordinator for Salpointe’s National Honor Society, Vice President of the Science Club, Director of Alumni Relations for the Salpointe Ambassador Leadership Program, and co-founder of the Salpointe Sustainability Club. Some of my favorite activities include exercising, volunteering within the community, and watching sports, especially football.

I will be majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Nutrition at Barrett, The Honors College. After I receive my bachelor’s degree, I plan to move forward onto medical school in hopes of becoming a pediatrician. I cannot wait to make a positive impact on the Sun Devil community and continue on my quest to be a servant leader. It is such an honor to be a part of the LSP family at ASU, and I look forward to building friendships with like-minded individuals!

Lauren Cantrell

I recently graduated from Mesquite High School in the lovely Gilbert, AZ. I am an Arizona native and I attended Gilbert Public Schools Preschool through 12th grade. I am grateful to have been given so many wonderful opportunities by the community I live in. I will be attending Barrett, The Honors College next year to study Speech and Hearing Science. I hope to someday work for the United States Military to provide speech therapy to disabled veterans.

My greatest passion is Best Buddies and I hope to continue to promote inclusion for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout college and the rest of my life. I have been highly involved with the Best Buddies organization since 8th grade and cannot wait to become involved at ASU. I volunteer for the Special Needs Ministry at my church, was an officer for my NHS chapter, and work for Town of Gilbert Parks and Recreation (I am a dance instructor and I LOVE it). I have taken 3 years of American Sign Language; I have immense appreciation for ASL and admire Deaf Culture so much. I have also been involved in theatre since 8th grade and some of my favorite school memories are from being involved in school plays and musicals. I am beyond excited to start at ASU and cannot wait to become involved in LSP!

Kiana Cisneros

I am a graduate from Trevor G. Browne High School. In high school. I participated in JROTC and held the highest rank as Battalion Commander, was a member of National Honor Society, and participated in theater. My senior year, I had the honor of being the Drum Major for the marching band and led my school to state competitions for seven years. I also played on the varsity teams for volleyball, basketball, and softball, and ultimately, became captain for all three sports.

Since I could remember, I've volunteered my time as much as I could. I have donated my time to local recreational centers, hospitals, and school events. However, the experiences that have had the most influence and greatest impact have been my involvement with political campaigns. Throughout my experiences, I have helped to impact my community, as well as other communities, in Arizona. Political campaigning led me to meet many senators, councilmen, and many other political figures, including the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Here at ASU, I want to play intramurals, help with on-campus sports medicine, and get involved in other clubs. I am majoring in Exercise and Wellness, with a possibility of a minor in Politics. I plan to become an athletic trainer or physical therapist for a professional sports team. Then one day have my own practice for all sports players and more. GO DEVILS!

Vanesa Contreras Rodriguez

Hola! I am the daughter of two Hispanic immigrant parents and a graduate of Sierra Linda High School in Phoenix, AZ, where I have lived practically my whole life. Over the past four years, I have been involved in various clubs, where I have held leadership positions that have ultimately lead to my desire to build upon and improve my leadership qualities. Besides leadership development, I am a devoted student, avid volunteer, and perfectionist, with a slight shopping problem.

I am pursuing a major in Business Entrepreneurship with hopes in attending law school to become an attorney and practice in our sunny state of Arizona. Coming from a Hispanic household, pursuing a higher education has been drilled into the heads of my brothers’ and me ever since I could remember. My motivation to help and give back to the Latino community is unwavering. I like to think of my education and accomplishments as a thank you to the Hispanic community for providing me the building blocks to a fruitful and successful life. My ambition to impact and inspire the student body at ASU to dream big and not settle for less is boundless. I cannot possibly contain my excitement to be Sun Devil, and even more so to be a member of the LSP 2015 Cohort! #FearTheFork

Triston Cradic

I was born June 6th, 1997 in Yuma, AZ. I am the youngest of 6 children and I have two wonderful parents. I was home schooled through eighth grade and was able to travel to all fifty states by the time my oldest brother graduated from high school. Throughout my life I have been involved in football, basketball, soccer, and continued on the sports path once I reached high school. While in high school, I played sports all four years and was also a part of student council. At ASU, I intend to major in Civil Engineering and go wherever my career path leads me.

My plan for impacting ASU is to get involved in some type of organization that will allow me to reach out to the student body to make the students feel like they belong to the ASU family so that they feel like it is their own personal home. I will make this happen by coordinating events throughout the school that will give the students an opportunity to meet more people with their similar interests, that will help them overcome the state of being uncomfortable and give them a chance to feel a sense of belonging. Not only do I want to reach out to the students of ASU, but I intend on joining clubs that do volunteer work throughout the school and in the community. So in my endeavor to impact ASU, I will be planning new events to reach out to the student body and volunteer to help the community of Tempe to be better, cleaner and more able to support the students of Arizona State University.

Hadley Griffin

I have lived in Tempe my whole life and am a graduate of McClintock High School. While in high school, I participated in swim and dive my freshman and sophomore year and played soccer all four years. My senior year, I was captain of the varsity soccer team. I also was a member of National Honor Society, Link Crew (a freshman mentoring program), and Student Council where I served as Vice President all four years. However, my biggest high school involvement was with the Arizona Association of Student Councils where I served as a State President during my senior year. Additionally, my immense love for music can be shown through my playing of the piano and ukulele, and singing.

While at ASU, I plan to study immensely as I work to achieve my degree in Computer Science Software Engineering. I hope to be an example to young girls and show them that success is very achievable, even within a male dominated field of study. I also hope to become involved in various different clubs and organizations; specifically ones that are service oriented and give back to the community. I really look forward to growing as a leader and expanding my skills this year in the Leadership Scholarship Program.

Joley Hamilton

Hi everyone! I hail from a small mining camp called Morenci, Arizona in which I have lived in all 18 years of my life. I graduated number one in my class from Morenci High School. I also graduated with my Associate’s from Eastern Arizona College with Highest Honors. A few of my proud accomplishments include being drum major for our marching band, president of Drama Club, National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, Knowledge Bowl, and Literary Society as well as being Student Body Vice President. I was also involved in National Spanish Honor Society, Tri-M Musical Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, LEO’s Club, and Yearbook. A highlight that I don’t really get to mention on job applications is that I was Prom and Homecoming Queen. On top of all that, I ran my school’s recycling program. I like to stay busy.

Moving on to ASU, I can’t wait to make an impact by just being kind to everyone I come across and by making people laugh. I am studying Business Management with a minor in Theatre. I hope to become involved with many different theatre and service groups alongside LSP. I also want to continue my involvement with Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY). One day I hope you’ll see me on the big screen or on the stages of Broadway; all the while running a successful non-profit. Go Devils!

Cole Harding

I am very excited to be here at ASU! I am a graduate from Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. I grew up playing football and played throughout high school. I was very involved in Boys Team Charity, which helps local philanthropies in the local area. This group got me very involved in Miracle League of Arizona, where I dedicate much of my time to help special needs children play organized baseball in a league of their own.

Over the course of the next four years, I would love to participate in some new clubs to help ASU in any way I can. I really look forward to getting involved in Greek life and meeting tons of new people and friends. With new clubs, experiences, and new fantastic people, I would love to help students at ASU and build myself as well! I am so grateful for LSP and the opportunities it has and will present me in the near future!

Grant Laufer

I am a graduate of Mountain View High School in Mesa, Arizona. In high school, I was heavily involved in political and cultural events, and spent far too many hours working for political campaigns on the state and local level. I was also involved in study abroad programs, helping local exchange students adjust to Arizona and going on my own study abroad trip to Turkey. I may seem quiet to people at first, but once I get to know someone I can’t stop discussing, debating, and joking about the latest current events with them.

I haven’t fully decided on one particular major yet, but I know I want to pursue a degree in the global studies or business fields. I am incredibly excited to join clubs and organizations that fit my interests at ASU, and hope to experience internships and study abroad opportunities during my undergraduate time here.

I can’t wait to make new friends with my LSP family and look forward to a challenging, exciting, and unforgettable time here at ASU!

Nicholas Livengood

I am a native of Anthem, Arizona. I have lived in Arizona for 12 years now since my family of my mom, dad, and brother moved here from Chicago, Illinois. I have been passionate about basketball, golf, and my academics, but I valued leadership and extra-career building activities in the business field during high school. I was a proud member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) for four years, including serving as the State Vice President of Finance during my senior year. I consider this opportunity to expand my leadership in LSP a privilege and an honor.

While at ASU, I plan to study at W.P Carey School of Business for a degree in Accountancy. I also hope to study a minor or certificate in Sports Business or Finance. I hope to become a CPA and a professional sports executive. But while at ASU, to help me achieve these career goals, I will strive to utilize the top-ranked resources provided by the school and give back to the community that will ultimately end up being the source of my success after 3-4 years of rigorous study.

I’m a fun loving guy who loves to hang out with friends, play basketball or golf, work out, or do anything fun with new and exciting people! I really plan to have a great time in college, but I also hope to slow down and enjoy this experience before it passes me by. I want to remember my days as a Sun Devil, GO ASU!

Marcos Lopez

To start off, I am no ordinary student. I was never just a jock or a nerd nor am I just active in clubs; I am all of the above. I participated in four sports, seven community organizations, and seven school clubs. Besides my involvement there, I also was a part of an Airsofting group, Bravo 520, and I also worked for the City of Casa Grande Parks and Recreation. I am very athletic and not only play those four organized sports but also another five on the side. My top sports are football and baseball which I plan to continue playing in the coming years here at ASU. As for my club involvement I mainly participated in three: Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Future Farmers of America (FFA), and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). Within these organizations I have upheld seven different officer positions. All have helped shape me into the leader I am today. Through my community organizations I have compiled over 2,500 hours of community service over the past four years. My main two organizations have been and will forever be Relay For Life and C.O.P.S. (Concerns Of Police Survivors). Through the involvement and betterment of our community, I want to not only make a difference while I am here, but leave a lasting memory for the university in the years to come.

Lerman Montoya

I am majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications at the Downtown campus. I'm also furthering my collegiate experience by studying at Barrett, the Honors College. My aspiration in life is to be happy in a career that allows me to not only think creatively but showcase my leadership skills. The Downtown campus will be a great way for me to harness my leadership skills and aid the urban communities. Growing up in an urban community did have its setbacks; however, through the hardships of life I’ve learned to be appreciative and humbled by great opportunities. I’m excited to begin my journey at ASU and learn from my fellow peers and staff what it truly means to be a great leader.

Although almost all of my cohort friends are in Tempe, I'm sure that my quirky personality and eagerness to make friends will attract likeminded students to befriend. I hope to get involved in many clubs and organizations at the Downtown campus such as The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, National Lesbian and Gay Journalists, and TRIO Devils. I’m sure that in the first couple weeks of school I’ll be involved in almost every club. However, I’ve heard that it could be stressful, so maybe not. I hope to fuse my passion for community service and my drive for social change, to help make ASU a more diverse and dynamic university. Go Sun Devils!

Julia Paulus

I will be traveling to Arizona State all the way from a small farm town (not kidding, I have 9 chickens in my backyard) in northern Ohio. As an out-of-state student, being a part of the Leadership Scholarship Program family is a true comfort and blessing. I am greatly looking forward to escaping the cornfield-filled Midwest and beginning all of the great adventures that await me at ASU. During high school, I was involved in multiple service groups in my community and worked to establish student-designed community improvement projects. Through leadership in organizations such as student government, National Honors Society, and Students Against Destructive Decisions, I was fortunate enough to work with extremely inspiring people who pushed me to reach my true potential and gave me the courage and wisdom to become a community leader.

I began developing passions of my own during high school, through non-profit organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and Young Americans for Freedom, I began to fight for student political awareness and participation. I worked as an intern on the campaign of the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, and later as a field associate for Americans for Prosperity. Currently, I am employed as an associate for a small business start-up company, which has inspired me to major in economics at ASU while also pursing the Pre-Law program. I also developed a passion for language and writing. I currently am the senior editor of our high school’s award-winning newspaper, an experience that I have loved though every step in the process, and I have been studying Spanish for five years. I am also a strong believer in traveling, the oxford comma, alternative music, Leonardo DiCaprio movies, and German food. I cannot wait to be a part of the Leadership Scholarship Program and make the 2015 cohort one to remember.

Curtis Peterson

Good day! I graduated from Cibola High School in Yuma, Arizona after spending the majority of my life growing up in Pocatello, Idaho (you know, the place you get your taters from). I am proud to be a part of an amazing group of individuals at the Leadership Scholarship Program after working diligently toward providing for the students in my high school, starting four organizations and various inaugural events, fundraisers, award programs, visits from politicians, and advocating campaigns. I am excited to say, however, that those accomplishments are behind me and I can begin to work toward pursuing my dreams.

At ASU, I will be majoring in physics, a subject I have been obsessed with for most of my high school career. Isn’t it fascinating that the faster you travel, the younger you get relative to, say, your couch potato friend? There is a great joy in physics! And advocating that to students as much as possible is my goal at ASU. At the same time, I want to indulge myself in as much research opportunities as possible, as I would love to contribute whatever insights I can into the study early on.Have a great day and keep on learnin’!

Bari Richardson

I am a graduate of Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona. In high school, I was passionate about being involved in as many activities as possible, both on and off campus. I have been an active member of DECA all four years of high school and have competed at the international level twice. I also love serving the global community. Over the past two years I have traveled to multiple countries including Kazakhstan and Indonesia to learn about culture and service. In addition, I work at Starbucks Coffee Company. I love my job and anything that involves a latte.

At ASU, I will be attending Barrett, the Honors College, as well as WP Carey School of Business. I hope to make a difference on campus by encouraging students to be active not only in our campus community, but also be active in the global community. I hope to organize multiple community service events that inspire students to think beyond US borders.

Chloe Rutledge

I am a graduate of Arizona School for the Arts, where I spent seven years studying voice and oboe performance alongside rigorous academics. Throughout high school, I was involved in many clubs and organizations, including being a member of honors music ensembles, a member of National Honor Society, and the President of Student Government. One of my favorite accomplishments during my high school career was founding the inaugural Knitting Club, which served the community through fiber arts. In my free time, I enjoy knitting, drinking coffee, spending time with friends, and listening to French hip-hop. I am passionate about community involvement, both locally, nationally and internationally. I have had many opportunities to travel outside the USA, serve different communities and experience different cultures.

As I head into my freshman year, I am majoring in Political Science. I plan to add an Economics minor and continue to study French language and culture. While at ASU, I plan to be involved in clubs, participate fully in my classes, study abroad, seek out valuable opportunities and people, and make amazing memories with my friends. I hope to impact ASU by inspiring my community to become actively engaged in the world around them. I am very proud to be in LSP, and I know that this community will help me on my new and exciting journey.