Volunteering during the 2023 Youth Summer camp season

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Ester Ambrocio

Hometown and State: Eugene, OR
College or University Name: Bushnell University
Major: Youth Ministry
Minor: Psychology
Class standing: Junior
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

The gratitude that I have for receiving this scholarship is overwhelming. I am full of joy. I'm profoundly grateful that The OCF Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation and The Alliance chose me to receive this scholarship to help fulfill my dreams. My ultimate goal in my life is to become a great person in this community and serve the youth of this generation. Thank you to everyone who has helped support me on this educational journey. Most of all, to those who have chosen me for this scholarship.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I know there are students that are hungry to hear the gospel and I know God has blessed me with the gift to serve youth and young adults. And that is why I chose Bushnell University, so I could get the proper training and education to earn a degree in youth ministry.

After graduation, I plan to…

After graduation, I plan to see where God wants to lead me. I know there will be many doors that will open for me that involve teaching youth. Whether working at a school, a church, or a non-profit organization, I want to listen first and see where the Lord needs me the most.

Isaac Bodley

Hometown and State: Cheshire
College or University Name: Bushnell University
Major: Ministry
Minor: Math
Class standing: Sophomore

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

This scholarship was meaningful to me because I didn’t have to take a new job, which wouldn't have split my focus between school and work.

After graduation, I plan to…

I plan to hopefully become a teacher of some sort, or if God has it, become a NASCAR driver.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose Bushnell University because it's the only school that gave me faith that I could be greater. I chose my major because, while I was sure what I wanted to become, I knew what I wanted to learn.

I’m the one with glasses and the gray Nike T-shirt.

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Crystal Cervantes

Hometown and State: Salem, OR
College or University Name: Willamette University
Major: Global Cultural Studies
Minor: Spanish
Class standing: Senior
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

First of all, thank you for the scholarship. It gave me a great opportunity to continue college without the weight of financial insecurity. My family is low-income and money is always on my mind, so being able to receive this scholarship means so much.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I enjoy learning about other cultures and studying Spanish literature.

After graduation, I plan to…

Take a little break from school and make sure I know for sure the career path I want to pursue. I plan to get a job shadowing any educating position and then figure out if I would like to go to grad school for that.

Lesly Cordero Lagos

Hometown and State: Albany, OR
College or University Name: Willamette University
Major: Politics, Policy, Law and Ethics
Class standing: Sophomore
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

The OCF Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation Scholarship reduced the financial burden of attending college. With this scholarship, I was able to pay for textbooks and transportation expenses. It also helped my parents feel more at ease that I’m receiving help in paying for college. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose to study politics, policy, law and ethics because my goal is to be a lawyer. Particularly a lawyer for the public, whether that be immigration, family, or tort. I chose this major because of the rigorous academic classes and potential networking.

After graduation, I plan to…

After college, I hope to attend Willamette University’s Law School where I hope to become either an immigration lawyer or family lawyer.

My boyfriend and me in a ramen restaurant back in January. The food was tasty.

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Hello! My name is Caroline Escalona Diaz. I was born and raised in Silverton, Oregon. I am Mexican American and a first-generation student. I enjoy watching Netflix, listening to music, and doing ceramics.

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Caroline Escalona Diaz

Hometown and State: Silverton, OR
College or University Name: George Fox University
Major: Nursing
Class standing: Freshman
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

I am honored to be one of the recipients of the OCF Joseph E. Western Public Foundation Scholarship. Thank you for your generous support. I am the first in my family to attend college and growing up in a less privileged community has not only offered financial and academic challenges but has also helped me realize the value of a college education. Once again, thank you for the vote of confidence in starting this new journey. I am committed to my education and to the health care field, and this education is one step closer to my dream of becoming a nurse.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose to study nursing because I love the idea of being able to help someone with more than just financial things. I chose George Fox University because the “be known” promise caught my attention and when I went to visit it has a very comfortable environment. It was also a university out of town but not too far away so that I would be able to come home when wanted.

After graduation, I plan to…

Take the NCLEX exam to become a certified nurse. I will work at a hospital for a couple of years to gain experience then move onto doing travel nursing.

Mia Fajardo

Hometown and State: Gresham, OR
College or University Name: Linfield University
Major: Nursing
Minor: Critical Ethnic Studies
Class standing: Sophomore
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

As a low-income first-generation college student, finding the funding to attend college is difficult. I never expected to be able to attend a university and it is scholarships like this that make it possible. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to focus on my education without stressing about the financial aspect. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose Linfield University because of their amazing nursing program and their student-to-faculty ratio. The small class sizes have allowed me to make strong, life-long connections with my professors and fellow students. I decided to major in nursing because I wanted to study something that is challenging, interesting, and makes a difference in people’s daily lives.

After graduation, I plan to…

After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in nursing with the long-term goal of becoming an ER travel nurse. During this process, I also plan to be an activist for proper health care accessibility, especially for non-US citizens and minorities.

One thing I enjoy doing is going to hockey games. This photo is of my mom and me at our first ever Winterhawk’s game in 2021! (Mia, on the left)

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Ryoo R-jin Flores

Hometown and State: Portland, OR
College or University Name: Multnomah University
Major: Psychology
Class standing: Freshman
Pronouns: he/him

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

The scholarship is meaningful to me because it allowed me to continue my education. Thank you.

After graduation, I plan to…

Work on being involved in the career I want.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose Multnomah University because I am interested in studying the human mind.

Josepher Juarez-Cruz

Hometown and State: Oregon City, OR
College or University Name: Warner Pacific University
Major: Sports Management
Minor: Coaching
Class standing: Junior
Pronouns: he/him

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

Thank you for making a dream more achievable. This scholarship helped cover the expense of paying for school.

After graduation, I plan to…

Go for a master's degree or work for a college athletic department.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose Warner Pacific University because it was affordable, I was recruited to play for the soccer program, and it is close to home. I chose to study sports management because I want to continue being involved in sports after graduating college.

Picture taken on the first day of preseason for my junior year.

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Family photo after traditional Chinese tea ceremony for my brother’s wedding.

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Lisa Lin

Hometown and State: Happy Valley, OR
College or University Name: Warner Pacific University
Major: Nursing
Class standing: Senior
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

I am currently working part-time night shifts at the ICU and concurrently working on my capstone for graduation. This has been a rocky journey for me while trying to balance rigorous schoolwork and earning money to pay my tuition. This scholarship has had a tremendous impact on my journey. I cannot thank you enough!

After graduation, I plan to…

After I graduate, I plan to stay in my hometown where my family and relatives are. My parents are dependent on me and I hope to stay close to them.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose to start my journey in nursing due to my passion for the healthcare field and taking care of patients. My inspiration to join the healthcare field stems from my parents, who immigrated to the States. My brother and I are first-generation college students living out our parents’ dreams. Due to their lack of education, they have experience language barriers during their time in the United States. Although healthcare continues to advance drastically, there are still barriers with language, culture, and backgrounds. I grew up translating for my family, relatives, and friends. Joining the field of nursing is a way for me to give back and improve patient care.

Allison Martinet

Hometown and State: Cottage Grove, OR
College or University Name: George Fox University
Major: Elementary Education
Class standing: Freshman
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

This scholarship was meaningful to me because it helps me to see that there are people out there who want to see me succeed and for that I am forever grateful. It is greatly appreciated and inspiring that someone else within the community would help lift some of the financial burdens of school so that I can focus more closely on my education. Thank you!

After graduation, I plan to…

After my journey at George Fox University, I plan to teach lower elementary grade levels and hopefully inspire future generations to be genuine people.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose George Fox University because I found that the staff here genuinely care about the students’ wellbeing. I knew that if I attended George Fox that I would be set up with everything I need to be successful as a future elementary teacher. Growing up, I always had good relationships with the teachers in my life and I felt as if they were the only people supporting me. I wish to be there for children just like the teachers in my life were there for me. That is why I chose to be an elementary education major.

In this photo, I was taking pictures in my hometown.

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I’m (on the right) with my roommate, Alex.

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Angela Monroy

Hometown and State: Salem, OR
College or University Name: Pacific University
Major: Education and Learning
Class standing: Senior
Pronouns: she/her/they

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

I am very thankful to be chosen as a recipient of the OCF Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation Scholarship. It's significant and impactful to me and my family, who are supporting me through college. This will help relieve the stress that comes from the financial burdens of pursuing a higher level of education. Thank you.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose Pacific University for its education program and the close-knit community on campus and in the classrooms. I think the largest class I've been in had at most 30 students. So I've been able to work closely with my peers and professors. As an education major, getting to know other students who want to teach has created a supportive community in my classes. I want to teach so I can contribute to my community and continuously learn.

After graduation, I plan to…

After I graduate, I'll return home, teach in my community, and support my family. I want to set an example for my younger siblings and support them through their college careers. I want to be able to relieve some of my mother's financial burdens and eventually take care of her.

Melody Moreno Gonzalez

Hometown and State: Philomath, OR
College or University Name: Reed College
Major: Psychology
Minor: Sociology
Class standing: Sophomore
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

This scholarship is meaningful to me because it will allow me to spend more time on my schoolwork, reducing the energy I exert working to support myself. Sincerely, thank you so much! I, and students in similar situations, deeply appreciate your support.

After graduation, I plan to…

attend grad school for an MA in social work and become certified in criminal justice work.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose my college because it was close to home, emphasized community, and offered me a financial aid package I could afford. I have always been interested in what motivates human behavior, so psychology and sociology were clear choices in studying the inner and outer happenings that affect human behavior and mental wellbeing.

First day of Sophomore year!

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I am standing at a peony flower field. Behind me, you can see multiple rows of flowers. The flowers are a red/pinkish color and the sky is very blue.

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Jacqueline Rojas Roman

Hometown and State: Beaverton, OR
College or University Name: University of Portland
Major: Nursing
Minor: Spanish
Class standing: Junior
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

Since my nursing career began, I have struggled financially. The OCF Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation Scholarship is more than just meaningful to me. Since 2020, I have been a recipient of several Oregon grants and scholarships, however, I couldn't qualify as a recipient this academic year. This was due to the combined household income, despite not receiving assistance, from my parents' income. Receiving this scholarship relieves a slight amount of pressure from my shoulders. Receiving this scholarship allows me to focus on my academics rather than my part-time job. Receiving this scholarship means reducing the amount of loans that I need to finish my degree. This scholarship will soon allow me to give back to my community as a nurse. Thank you for this opportunity.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose to attend the University of Portland because it is one of the best nursing schools in the state of Oregon. I wanted to be close to my parents and for them to witness me accomplish my goals and dreams. From middle school, I was already looking into college and the requirements to receive financial assistance and career opportunities in the medical field. In my high school years, I began to spend my summers volunteering at hospitals like OHSU and Tuality Community Center. These sites helped me identify that I wanted to work in healthcare. Now, I am only a year or so away from fulfilling my goal and I could not be more excited to begin my journey as a nurse.

After graduation, I plan to…

After graduation, I am taking a vacation. During this time, I plan to look at hospital job opportunities in the state of Oregon, so that when summer comes to an end, I will be able to begin pursuing my career in nursing. After I gain more experience, I plan to complete the required measures to become a Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA) to successfully accomplish my goal of practicing in an operating room.

Caitlin Truong

Hometown and State: Clackamas, OR
College or University Name: Pacific University
Major: Biology
Class standing: Senior
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

This scholarship allows me to pursue my education at an affordable rate. Recently, I had to move home due to a family health issue. Having financial support for my education means everything to me and my future. I would like to extend an extremely sincere thank you to the OCF Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation for making my dreams possible.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose this Pacific University because, initially, I wanted to pursue optometry. However, now I am planning to pursue a PA career and my college offers both areas in graduate and undergrad. I chose Biology for this reason exactly; I knew I wanted to go into the medical track, but I needed to discover what specialty I wanted.

After graduation, I plan to…

I plan to apply to PA schools after I earn my bachelor’s degree in biology.

This photo was taken on my 21st birthday. That’s me and my boyfriend, he helped surprise me with loved ones, and the photo reminds me of how many people in my life support and love me even when I’m not looking.

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