Say Hello to Our 2015 Scholarship Winners!
Published: February 10, 2016
We’re excited to announce the 2015 Yoga Alliance Foundation Scholarship winners! This year, we awarded two Advanced Training Scholarships and four Aspiring Teacher Scholarships.
We’d also like to offer a special thank you to all of the donors to our Foundation who made this possible. These scholarships were underwritten by our Endorsed Partner and founding sponsor, prAna, along with Hays Companies and Sacred Charms. In addition to our corporate donors, there were over thousands of individual contributions made by our members in support of these scholarships – THANK YOU!
As in years past, it was tough to narrow down our incredible pool of applicants to just six winners. However, we believe we’ve chosen a group that is guaranteed to change their communities — if not the world — through yoga.
Read on to learn more about our winners and how they serve.
Advanced Training Scholarship Recipients
Marissa Angeletti, E-RYT 200 of Denver, CO
“I first came to my personal yoga practice after sexual trauma and disordered eating in my youth. Through my practice of getting curious about my body and staying committed on my mat, I began to feel a sense of wholeness and safety in my body for the first time in my life. This is what I want to share more deeply with others. An advanced training will enable me to bridge all aspects of my teaching in the holistic and comprehensive way I have envisioned for years; bringing even more love, inspiration and service to my community.”
Alisha Gard, RYT 200 of Oakland, CA
“What inspires me the most about yoga are the opportunities for learning, personal growth and bodily restoration for both me and my students. There are so many sincere interpersonal connections that stem from shared practice, mutual learning, and the experience of feeling simultaneously grounded and expansive. Through yoga, it's possible to cultivate individual transformation, social justice, positive shifts in society and a more conscious community.”
Aspiring Teacher Scholarship Recipients
Jade Beauvais of British Columbia, Canada
“Raised on Salt Spring, an island off the West Coast of Canada, my community was full of love and wonderful people from a myriad of backgrounds. Being awarded this scholarship is very humbling and has reinforced what I knew to be true – that I have the potential to be a catalyst for even more growth in my community. Once I become an RYT 200 I want to bring yoga - in self-service, meditation or asana - into workshops that teach young people about non-violence and healthy relationships.”
Becca Cerra of Shafer, MN
“I have been a guest writer for teen development specialists and body image experts, won the International Association of Eating Disorder Professional’s Art Competition, served as a mentor for the LGBTQIA community, and held community-based programs combating violence against women. I share my unique perspective to offer hope through yoga, to connect with others who may or may not have shared my struggles, to inspire change and to exalt the human body – particularly female body – in defiance of the negative images society dictates to us.”
Katie Fortier of Westminster, MA
“After a nine-month volunteer residency at Kripalu, I recently joined the Peace Corps and moved to Kosovo to teach English. I also fell in love again with my personal yoga practice; a practice of intuition, flow, meditation, and dance. My dream is to teach yoga in schools, sharing with children a lifestyle that includes mindfulness, self-expression and self-reliance. Winning this scholarship gives me the opportunity to help others in their personal journey, to benefit my school community and to open the door to an unknown path.”
Rachele Guastella of Grand Rapids, MI
“I am a musician, teacher, farmer, and fifth-generation Italian American from Detroit, Michigan. My high school athletic director introduced me to yoga and the steady act of self-awareness began to affect me in a positive and profound way. Drawn to investigate seva, I lived abroad to teach the emerging youth at Majuro Cooperative High School in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and led free community yoga classes in my spare time. This scholarship supports the next chapter in my life, and I am thrilled to experience formal training.”
We’ll be profiling each of our winners throughout the year so you can learn more about their yoga journeys and how they are serving their communities.
Thank you to everyone who applied, and keep your eyes open for the 2016 scholarship application announcements!