Kokneeka Houston

Summit Olympus is thrilled to celebrate senior Kokneeka Houston, recipient of the Act Six Scholarship. Tacoma-Seattle’s only full-tuition, full-need scholarship, Act Six brings together diverse, multicultural cadres of young people who want to use their college education to make a difference on campus and in their communities. Next year, Kokneeka will attend Whitworth University to study accounting and pursue her dream of helping teens in her community develop financial literacy.

Kokneeka transferred to Summit Olympus for her junior and senior years, seeking a smaller and more personalized educational experience. In those two years, the support she received from her mentor, teachers, and administrators made a big impact. Reflecting on her journey, she shares “I used to be very quiet in my classrooms.” Now, Kokneeka has surprised herself with the confidence she developed at school. “Mr. Clark does a good job of telling the students that their voice matters,” she said of her principal. Kokneeka worked hard to continue to foster her voice as a leader and was particularly inspired by her Leadership and Entrepreneurship class. In December, Kokneeka started her own business, Faith & Mercy, selling body butter. “I wish I knew about this school all my four years,” Kokneeka said. “I never thought that I would start this on my own.”

When it came time to apply to college, Kokneeka was ready. With weekly support from her mentor, she honed in on her Concrete Next Step, or, her plan for life after high school. “I love that you can stay with one mentor through all of high school. You see yourself grow and they can see you grow. Every mentor group is a family,” Kokneeka said. Her mentor, Ms. Guerra shared scholarship opportunities weekly– it was through her that Kokneeka learned of the Act Six scholarship and decided to apply. Having experienced the impact of a strong network of support at Summit Olympus, Kokneeka was excited to find a scholarship that would offer those same opportunities. For her, the scholarship offers far more than financial support. “I’m excited to build networking skills. I’ve learned that proactively networking can save a lot of time when you need help and support. Developing those relationships—even if they don’t have an immediate impact—is really important. When I look towards the future, I want to have built a strong support system.”

Kokneeka dreams of continuing her entrepreneurial pursuits by starting her own organization empowering teens to develop financial literacy. Summit Olympus will be cheering her on as she embarks on her next step!

Summit Olympus high school in Tacoma, Washington. As part of Summit Public Schools, a leading public school system, Summit Olympus prepares a diverse student population for success in a four-year college and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society.

Summit Olympus students build habits and life skills through project-based learning and by collaborating to tackle real-world challenges. Learn more or enroll your student.