Scholar Class – 2013
Ryan Karnoski was born and raised in Edmonds, Washington. Having identified as queer from an early age, he has had many experiences with the intersections of queerness, disability, and poverty that have shaped his identity as a proponent for advocacy and social justice. His involvement with the LGBTQ community began when he was in high school, having led his school’s Gay Straight Alliance, and serving on the Queer Youth Space Board of Directors. At the same time, as a board member of the Washington Association of Student Councils, Ryan began volunteering with Special Olympics Washington, working to initiate a Unified Soccer program in his school district and helping to create a merger in the programming of the two organizations. Excelling academically, Ryan was active in many student organizations, including his high school’s National Honor Society, Interhigh, and Project Lead the Way Pre-Engineering program, where he was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Society of Women Engineers. He is currently studying Spanish and Social Welfare at the University of Washington, and hopes to use this interdisciplinary educational background to serve as an advocate for the LGBTQ and Disability Communities in his future career endeavors.