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Meet the 2017 Spring Scholarship Winners

August 7, 2017

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Yoga Alliance Foundation is pleased to announce and celebrate the 2017 spring scholarship recipients! These inspirational yoga students and teachers will enroll in trainings so that they can share yoga with others and make a positive impact in their communities. For more on their journey from practitioner to change-maker, follow us on social media for all of the latest updates.

Aspiring Teacher Scholarship Winners

The Aspiring Teacher Scholarship is awarded to dedicated yoga practitioners who want to make a difference in the world through yoga teaching. Each of the winners below will be taking a 200-hour teacher training at a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School so that they may bring the gifts of yoga back to their community.



Nada Al-Shazly

Nada Al-Shazly

Nada is a dentist from Egypt who intends to serve underprivileged children and women, including refugees.




Sanaa Basheer

Sanaa Basheer

Sanaa is a second grade teacher from New York who wants to serve low-income students and their families through yoga.


Rachel Caballero

Rachel Caballero

Rachel is a doula and aspiring midwife from Texas who exclusively serves women of color who have experienced trauma and oppression.

Tanya Kay Gaid

Tanya Kay Gaid

Tanya is a special education teacher who intends to bring yoga to low-income, tribal, and internally displaced communities in Northern Mindanao in the Philippines.

Lizzie Knothe

Lizzie Knothe

Lizzie is a women's health advocate and Spanish interpreter from Wisconsin who intends to help victims of domestic violence through yoga.

Tamiko Riviere

Tamiko Riviere

Tamiko is a freelance marketer who intends to bring yoga to troubled youth and underprivileged people in St. Lucia.

Kelsey Santerre

Kelsey Santerre

Kelsey is an artist and mental health advocate from Ontario who intends to serve people with different abilities.

Tioka Tokedira

Tioka Tokedira

Tioka is a teacher in a low-income school and volunteers her time to serve refugee women in France.

Tobias B.D. Wiggins

Tobias B.D. Wiggins

Tobias is an LGTBQ+ activist who intends to bring accessible yoga to marginalized groups in his community in Ontario.

Advanced Training Scholarship Winners

The Advanced Training Scholarship is for RYT 200 and E-RYT 200 members who want to take both their yoga training and their community impact to the next level. These phenomenal scholarship recipients will be taking an advanced 300-hour training from a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School.


Erin Damm

Erin Damm

Erin is a former AmeriCorps member who intends to deepen her training so she can help veterans with PTSD in Texas.


Elizabeth Gibbons

Elizabeth Gibbons

Elizabeth is a yoga teacher and military spouse who intends to bring free yoga to members of the military and their families in Guam.


Linda Meacci

Linda Meacci

Linda is a yoga teacher from Pennsylvania who intends to train teachers in trauma-informed yoga for survivors of sexual assault, incarcerated women, and people suffering from eating disorders.

Ona Hawk Rankin

Ona Hawk Rankin

Ona Hawk is a holistic health educator in Atlanta who intends to serve underprivileged communities through yoga.

Cole Schlam

Cole Schlam

Cole is a yoga teacher from Colorado who intends to provide accessible yoga programs to women who have experienced violence and people who have different abilities.


Sherry Sidoti

Sherry Sidoti

Sherry is a teacher and mother in Massachusetts who intends to share yoga as a way to manage pain and trauma, and deter members of her community from substance abuse.

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