Southern Oregon

KOBI Spirit of Community Moment: Scholarships

KOBI: In its 50 years, Oregon Community Foundation has awarded over $150 million through more than 56,000 scholarship awards. We’d like to tell you about two Southern Oregon students whose lives changed by winning local scholarships administered by OCF. And they have some advice for their classmates: Work hard in school and apply for those scholarships. The money is there for you. Here’s another Spirit of Community Moment.  

KOBI: Just listen to these numbers from Bob Hunter of the Medford Rogue Rotary Club.

Bob Hunter: So, Medford Rogue Rotary Club through its foundation, first gave out scholarships in 1983 and gave out four scholarships, each valued at $500 apiece. Currently, we have 45 students on scholarship, and most of them have $4,000 a year scholarships so that they’re worth $16,000 total. Over those 40 years, we've given out $2.8 million dollars to 460 students. So, pretty big impact.

KOBI: Yes. The money is out there for motivated Southern Oregon students like South Medford High School Graduate Baylee Davis. She received one of those amazing $4,000-a-year scholarships to study Education at SOU.  

Baylee Davis: My mom's a single parent, too. So that extra help with scholarships, just you know, relieves a little bit of the stress financially.

KOBI: Vanessa Fuentes graduated from Crater High School in Central Point. Because of her scholarship, she’s talking to us from her dorm room at Cal Poly Pomona in Southern California.

Vanessa Fuentes: Ever since elementary school, my parents have talked about me going to college, they've always wanted me to pursue higher education. And I've always just, I've had that ingrained in me. And I've always just wanted to go to college. 

KOBI: Here’s more math from Bob Hunter.

BH: Every $1,000 in scholarship funding that a student receives, they’re 2.5% more likely to remain in school. So, to give them $4,000 a year, they're 10% more likely to stay in school. If they get $25,000, the math adds up, and so do the number of years they stay in school, and the likelihood they'll finish.

KOBI: And here’s that promised advice from Baylee and Vanessa.

BD: Work hard in school, working hard in school really pays off and it's, it's been a journey, but it's been a very good one.

VF: Keep applying. Just keep looking. Eventually, you'll get one. I only got two and I'm still able to be here.

KOBI: If you’d like to help make Southern Oregon a better place to live, visit Oregon Community Foundation at https://oregoncf.org.

This from KOBI TV's "Oregon Community Foundation: Spirit of Community" series.