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Santa Cruz Graduation 2022

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2022 2022 MOUNT MADONNA SCHOOL CLASS OF 2 MOUNT MADONNA SCHOOL CLASS OF 2 We wish you much success as you continue on your journey: American University | California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo | California State University, Channel Islands | California State University, Long Beach | Seattle University | University of California, Los Angeles | University of California, San Diego | University of California, Santa Barbara MountMadonnaSchool.org SANTA CRUZ – During the last 25 years there has been profound progress for the LGBTQIA+ community, both in Santa Cruz County and around the country. The Queer Youth Leadership Awards is about gathering as a community, bearing witness, visibility, celebration, raucous applause, and, above all, an outpouring of love to thank local trailblazers. After two years of holding the ceremony virtually, the Queer Youth Leadership Awards ceremony returned to an in- person celebration on May 14. The graduating seniors included Lucía Umeki- Martínez and Zanthee Schwarzmann. Also recognized was graduating eighth grader Aaron Gonzales. Lucía Umeki-Martínez Student, Watsonville High School; Co- President, Watsonville High School ASB; and President, Watsonville Sexuality and Gender Acceptance (SAGA) Club Umeki-Martínez is a leader at Watsonville High School where they served as a class officer every year and now, as a senior, are both ASB co-president and president of the SAGA club. Umeki- Martínez is described as someone who moves through challenges with fortitude and purpose and who has an impressive ability to balance their academics and extracurriculars, such as Mock Trial and the Ivy League Project. As ASB president, Umeki-Martínez works to plan all events and activities on campus, like Homecoming and Coming Out Week, all while leading the school's student government. Umeki- Martínez represents their school at PVUSD board meetings as a co-representative and has spoken passionately about the school's need for more all-gender bathrooms, which stirred the district to respond immediately to rectify the situation. Umeki-Martínez will be a double major in Sociology and English at UC Berkeley for the 2022-23 school year. Zanthee Schwarzmann Student, Pacific Collegiate School and Leader, Students for Equity in Academics Zanthee Schwarzmann has been a cornerstone of Pacific Collegiate's Queer Intersectional Alliance since seventh grade, and has grown to become a fierce advocate for social justice. Schwarzmann is described as someone who faces the systemic injustice she experiences as a queer Indigenous woman with fire and courage and is not afraid to stand up to anyone. For the past two years, Schwarzmann has served on the leadership team for Students for Equity in Academics where she has conducted student experience surveys, presented findings to the school's board of directors, and worked to secure affordable transportation for students that live far from campus. Schwarzmann played a quintessential role in getting her school to the first annual MLK Day March, and is the co-founder of Fall Fabu, the school-wide diversity festival. Schwarzmann has tentative plans to attend UC Riverside with a major in Art and Art History for the 2022- 23 school year. Aaron Gonzales Student, Watsonville Charter School of the Arts and Treasurer, Watsonville Charter School of the Arts GSA Aaron Gonzales has been an activist in the LGBTQIA+ community since he was in fifth grade when he became a founding member of Watsonville Charter School of the Arts (WCSA) GSA Junior club, the first elementary school GSA club in Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD). As a sixth grader, Gonzales spoke at a public PVUSD board meeting to thank the trustees for their support of LGBTQIA+ students, and in seventh grade Gonzales spoke at WCSA's Harvey Milk Day event where he came out as transgender in front of the whole K-8 school. This year, as an eighth grader, Gonzales helped local adults understand how to support trans youth by sharing his story as a panelist for the Understanding Gender Summit. Gonzales also serves as the WCSA GSA treasurer. Gonzales will be a first year student at Watsonville High School for the 2022-23 school year. Additional Queer Youth Leadership Award Awardee Gensen DeLeon Student, Santa Cruz High School; Council Member, Queer and Trans Youth Council of Santa Cruz County; and Committee Member, Santa Cruz Pride Committee Queer Youth Leadership Award, Nominees Alex KirkHart Student, Monarch Elementary School Bronte Holmes Student, Westlake Elementary and Founder, Westlake Elementary Queer Club Ezra Mercado Student, Branciforte Middle School; C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ! Class of 2022 A T I P O F T H E C A P T O A L L T H E G R A D U AT E S – F R O M T H E S A N TA C R U Z S E N T I N E L Youth recognized during 25th Annual Queer Youth Leadership Awards Contributed continues on C6... LUCÍA UMEKI-MARTÍNEZ ZANTHEE SCHWARZMANN AARON GONZALES Photo Credit: Rebecca Stark Photography Photo Credit: Rebecca Stark Photography Photo Credit: Rebecca Stark Photography

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