Act Six: Cadre 3

Sophia Kobernusz-Gibbs, Staff Writer

A scholarship program called Act Six that focuses on social justice and connecting faith-based colleges is continuing to grow on campus. This program provides a full-need scholarship for students who receive it. “We were approached by Act Six and Trinity Education Foundation to see if we might want to work with them four years ago,” Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs, Ph.D., the Dean of Enrollment, recalls. “We felt like the mission of social justice and faith was a fit with our Benedictine values.”

For students to join Act Six, there is a three-part process. First, a student applies to the program. Then, there’s a group project day facilitated by Act Six. Students also interview with their top college choices out of the ones associated with Act Six, which include Pacific Lutheran University, Gonzaga University, or Saint Martin’s University. Typically, in this phase, the candidates visit the campus and interview, and the faculty gets to observe their leadership skills. Each year, seven students are selected. They make up their own individual cohort, called a cadre. 

They are presented with a case study and asked how they would address a specific problem. However, due to COVID, interviews were held online this school year via Zoom. Current Act Six Scholars helped with the third phase of this process by offering a student panel. Despite the complications Saint Martin’s students involved in Act Six said it was still a positive and exciting experience.

Student Katherine Jamerson talked about her perspective having applied and was on the Q&A panel for the 2021 cadre. “It is super interesting being on the other side! I know that when I was going through the process, I was a little bit scared and stressed so I make sure to ensure the students that those feelings are completely normal.”

The expectation of these Act Six scholars is that they will be active leaders on campus.  To fulfill this expectation, many ran for the Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University (ASSMU) this past election season, like Yuan Fernandez and Jamerson herself. You may see an Act Six Scholar as a Resident Assistant or an AHANA Mentor. Act Six Scholars are encouraged to take leadership positions and apply their training and skills, although COVID has made service projects difficult this past year. John Hopkins, Director of the Diversity and Equity Center, talks about the point of service for this group. “It is about building solidarity skills, working for a common goal,” he said.

Students from the first and second cadres of Act Six Scholars talk about their experiences interviewing and being a part of the program. Reine Albeite talks about the empathy she has for the second and third cadres that have followed from her, and the interview process that she also participated in, letting newcomers know that “we are here to support you so when they came here, we were here to help transition into it.” Jamerson also talks about the support network that Act Six has given her. “We all came to Saint Martin’s together. Having my cadre by my side has given me extra support and lifelong friends.”

Yuan Fernandez talks about the experience of being in Act Six and how it has changed his college experience. “It has made me become a more mature individual. I am able to stand up for myself, and know that I have support in my university because of my fellow Act Six Scholars.” 

Albeite shared similar feelings. “It has given me more motivation for school… it has given me a sense of purpose and goal,” she said. 

Fernandez shares his excitement for the next cadre. “I am so excited for the third cadre to come because our Act Six family is finally getting bigger and can’t wait for more to come,” he said. Hopkins, Jamerson, and Albeite all look forward to working with the next seven Act Six Scholars.

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