Leadership Symposium on Saturday (LSOS)

ALL Scholar - ALL Cadre Check-in

LSOS Intent

The Leadership Symposium on Saturday (LSOS) experience is designed to support scholars in developing the necessary skills to fiercely advocate for their individual and collective academic success and well-being at PLU.

LSOS Explained

Upcoming Meetings

  • October 15th, 2022
  • November 19th, 2022
  • December 10th, 2022
  • January 21st, 2023
  • February 18th, 2023
  • March 18th, 2023
  • April 15th, 2023
  • May  20th, 2023 Graduation Celebration

Important Reminders

  • Meetings are held in the cave every third Saturday of the month.
  • Scholars will receive a PLU gCal invite for the meeting.
  • Monthly reports due last day of the month by NOON.

Standing Agenda

1. Welcome and Agenda overview
2. All Scholars check-ins (academic and well-being)
3. Program Expectations and Logistics

    • Volunteer Hours
    • Monthly Reports
    • Attendance

4. Leadership Praxis
5. Announcements
6. Adjourn

Instructional Team

Melannie Denise Cunningham

Her Podcast
Her Non-Profit
Peace Queen

Melannie Denise Cunningham, MBA

Melannie Denise Cunningham is Director of Multicultural Outreach and Engagement in the Campus Ministry office at PLU. She serves as the Act Six Program Director and is the creator/visionary behind the Leadership Symposium on Saturday. Cunningham envisions the symposium as a specific “intervention” in support of scholars’ persistence towards graduation and future success.

Cunningham holds a B.A. from Washington State University, Certificate of Training in Broadcast Production Technology from Bates Technical College an M.B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University, and is currently a doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University pursing a PhD in Organizational Development and Change. She expects to graduate in 2022.

Contact Miss Melannie at:  cunningham@plu.edu

And, find out more about her grassroots activism at:

Her Tedx Tacoma Talk


Act Six Cadre 11

Andre Jones

Seattle, WA.
Global Studies

Act Six Cadre 12

Abdulgjani Mosa

Tacoma, WA.
Class of ’23
Business Administration with concentration in accounting.

Favorite Quote: “Perseverance is key.”
Being part of LSOS means so much to me in being in a community with my fellow scholars who are from diverse backgrounds attending PLU, a white institution, like myself. Being able to come together and vent, connect in experiences, and be loaded up with tools and support.

Georjina Soliai

Lakewood, WA.
Class of ’24
Criminal Justice & Political Science minor

Favorite Quote: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to the know difference.”
LSOS gives me the opportunity to not only connect with my fellow peers, but also learn about ways in which I can navigate through school and life. Being a part of LSOS feels like seeing family at a reunion, and catching up with people you don’t normally see on a daily basis.


Ian Gutierrez

Tacoma, WA.
Class of ’23
Business Administration

I’d say my favorite quote is one my dad used to always tell me which was the brick walls are there to show how bad you want something. Being apart of leadership symposium means I’m given the tools to help form me into a better leader in my community.

Isaiah Lenard


Istahil Yussuf


Vanessa Vazquez

Burien, WA
Class of ’23
Art Education with an endorsement in ELL

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity” -H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Being a part of LSOS means being inspired by fellow scholars to make a difference and giving back to my community


Act Six Cadre 13

Heven Ambachew


Moses Smith


Samuel Tafolla

Evelyn Ayala

Federal Way, WA.
Class of ’24
Criminal Justice

Being a part of LSOS means I get the opportunity to learn from others as well as making meaningful connections with people that look like me.Advice I would give to my younger self is take it one step at time 


Hanzel Chicas

Lakewood, Wa.
Class of ’24
Business Administration with a General Concentration

If I could go back in time and tell myself something, it would be these three specific quotes: 1.”If you wrote a book right now, about your life and you gave it to someone. Would it change their life for the better? If not you gotta get to working!”, 2.”How big would you dream, if you knew you couldn’t fail?”, 3.”You cannot stop, you cannot give up. You are the only person that can make this work, and you’re also the only person who can fuck this up”.
Being a part of the Leadership Symposium group means a lot to me for many reasons. One of them being is that I have the opportunity to inspire, motivate and lift up those who are around me. It also has given me the opportunity to change for the better, not only to grow as a student, oldest brother, son, friend but most importantly as an individual. In other words, by being a part of this group I have found my purpose and meaning, in life which is to inspire, motivate and brighten up the lives of those who are around me as much as I can. By being myself, I hope that I can make the world a little bit better and for those who live in it as well.


Paradise Gladstone

Tamara Hernandez-Rmeriz

Tacoma, WA.
Class of ’24
Business Management with a minor in Innovation Studies

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
Being a part of the Leadership Symposium means receiving an education that can open the doors to possibilities


Act Six Cadre 14

Yajaira Gonzalez-Aparicio


Elvis Ndungu

Lakewood, WA.
Class of ’25

Favorite Quote: “Always do it for your future self, they will thank you later.”
Being a part of LSOS, to me, means being amongst like minded people and given the chance to interact with one another.


Lilybeth Esau


Joshua Jimenez

Tacoma, WA.
Class of ’25
Graphic Design

Keep Going, fall in love with failure.

Being a part of LSOS means a lot to me, it’s a privilege to be able to gather with my peers who look like me and just take those 4 hours to connect and hear one another. It’s a weekend that I look forward to and I feel like I get a lot out of it personally every time.

Anthony Angel

Jaylyn Kerley

Tacoma, WA.
Class of ’25
Psychology with minors in Spanish & Business Marketing

Favorite Quote: “Without commitment you’ll never start. But without consistency you’ll never finish.” -Denzel Washington
Being a part of Leadership Symposium to me symbolizes the progress I’m making in my goals, self growth and leadership groups. It helps define me as a leader and sculpt me into the women & leader I need to be in order for positive change to happen.


Ana Collazo



Act Six Cadre 15

Joseph Carter

Carson, CA
Class of ’26
Biology Major

Favorite Quote: “Be poise in the pressure and take control of what’s in your circle.”
Being a part of Leadership Symposium means a lot to me. It allows me to network with other leaders in my community and I get to grow more as a man.


Jonathan Ochoa

Chihuahua, Chihuahua Mexico and Parkland, Wa.
Class of ’26
Computer Science and Physics

Favorite Quote: “Excellence is practiced, not a state of being.”

Being a part of LSOS is me actively trying to better myself not only for my own benefit, but also for those who come after.


Avigail Salazar Martinez

Tacoma, WA
Class of ’26
Biology Major

“I will not hide my taste or aversions. I will so trust what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints.” – Waldo Ralph Emerson


Stella Schena-Gordon

My hometown is with my loved ones . I don’t consider home a place especially since i’ve always moved every 2-3 years of my life.
Class of ’26
Biology Major

Favorite Quote: “Every shot you don’t take is a shot you miss.” (Don’t know the source but I definitely am a firm believer in taking opportunities seriously)
Being a part of the leadership symposium to me means taking part in creating safe spaces that allow for equitable access and participation for bipoc students in college spaces .

Jeremiah Lenard

Tacoma, WA.
Class of ’26

Advice I would give to my younger self is know the importance of who your friends are. Being a part of LSOS is another opportunity I have the chance to take. It is what I make of it.


Lereena Kerley

Lakewood, WA.
Class of ’26
Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology

“Just when we think we figured things out, the universe throws us a curveball. So, we have to improvise. We find happiness in unexpected places. We find ourselves back to the things that matter the most. The universe is funny that way. Sometimes it just has a way of making sure we wind up exactly where we belong.” -Meredith Grey

Being a part of the Leadership Symposium means a lot to me. It helps me become the person I want to be and sets me up for success. I appreciate this opportunity to be able to learn how to become a leader and build on my networking skills and experiences. This is something I take pride in and truly am proud to say I am an Act Six Scholar.


Lance Maligaya

Muntinlupa City
Class of ’26
Communications & Psychology Major

“Walang susuko”, which means no giving up in Tagalog.


Act Six Yakima Cadre 1

Yanelly Gurrola Anaya

Gurrola Anaya

Marillyn Diaz

Yakima, Wa
Class of  ’25
Education Major & Hispanic Studies Minor

“Never apologize for being a powerful woman.” 

Being a part of LSOS means the ability to have discussions over topics that are silenced by the public. This opportunity allows me to have access to many different points of view and the ability to speak my truth on things happening around our campus and community. I like to think of Leadership Symposium as a safe place for SOC leaders. Advice I would give to my younger self is give yourself more love and credit. You have come so far and now you are a Latina-Arab woman with a full ride! To those who said you would not make it, you are proving them wrong and yourself right.


Alondra Mendoza


Britney Pinon

Toppenish, WA.
Class of ’25
Biology with minors in Chemistry and Chinese

“We need to accept that we don’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes. Understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Arianna Huffington (Founder & CEO, Thrive Global)
What does being a part of LSOS mean to me? I can feel a part of this group and am confident that it will support me in times of need. Additionally, it’s a really motivating place to go and a place where I can express any fears I may have in a safe environment. It has also taught me that there isn’t just one way to be a leader, rather the position of one is a blank canvas and you have the opportunity to create a masterpiece one brushstroke at a time.


Cori Birrueta


Act Six Yakima Cadre 2

Diego Mares

Toppenish, WA.
Class of ’26
Marketing Major with intended Communications minor

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” —Tony Blair
Being a part of LSOS is an opportunity to network and a great way to meet new people. It’s very important to me to be able to go to college so I can pursue the career I want. It helps my understanding of the college process with credits and what would be described as the “real world”.


Elizabeth Cruz Aguilar

Yakima, Wa.
Class of ’26
Major in Marketing and Minoring in Non-Profit

Advice I would give to my younger self is,”The world is bigger than you think it is and your worries aren’t as important as you think they are, just be you.”


Yailyn Salais-ARENAS

Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. However, I have been raised in the Yakima Valley for more than half of my life. More specifically Sunnyside, Washington. Sunnyside is known as a migrant agricultural community.
Class of ’26

If I had the advice to give to my younger self, I would say to always speak pridefully on what is on my mind no matter what and to always ask questions if I am unsure about something. Also, to never give up no matter how hard an obstacle can be. To acknowledge me for attempting to accomplish something even if I fail. That is, by congratulating myself for at least trying and putting in my best effort instead of not trying. I will never be too old to try something new. Learning is a lifelong process and does not always involve school.
Being a part of the Leadership Symposium to me means an opportunity to bond, grow, and reflect in conversations with other leaders about how we can be prepared to better communities, college campuses, and ourselves while being in college and after college.


Palmers Cadre 1

Tiana Jackson

Tacoma, WA.

Class of ‘25


 Leadership Symposium means there are always opportunities to learn and build community. Advice I would give my younger self is one step at a time, do not stress over things out of your control because everything happens for a reason.


Eduardo Salazar-Sandoval

Tacoma, WA
Class of ’25
Business Accounting with minor in Data Science

One piece of advice I would give to my younger self is to be more open and have confidence in my abilities.

What does being apart of Leadership Symposium mean to me?
Being able to turn to a community of people just like me for help. Being able to express myself freely and having people understand me.


Moriah Byrne

Tacoma, WA.
Class of ’25
Elementary Education

To my younger self: go for it, if it’s scary it’s worth trying even more.


Gladys Monterroso

Jolin Tito

Pricila Cornelio-Birrueta

Auburn, WA
CLASS of ’25

Mariah Brajavich

Tacoma, WA.
Class of ’25
Business Finance

Do your best, but not at the expense of your happiness and health.
Being a part of LSOS has allowed me to be a part of a support system that has influenced and empowered my ability and outlook on my future


Palmers Cadre 2

JaMae Clemons



Lois Essibu

Class of ’26

Favorite Quote: “Embrace risks and be courageous”
Being a student of colour, leadership symposium teaches me ways to find opportunities in order to be financially independent and make plans on my own.


Blen Teklemariam

Class of ’25

Be patient and stay focused.

Being a member of the leadership symposium helps me perform to my potential by providing me with knowledge and information.