Salem, OR—The Oregon College Savings Plan today announced the winners of the inaugural Diversity in Leadership Scholarship for underrepresented and diverse Oregon high school graduates pursuing higher education in the state. Both of this year’s recipients plan to pursue careers in the medical field, with awardee, Zemzem Hussen, studying Nutrition at Oregon State University and awardee Monserrat Beltran Juarez majoring in Nursing at the University of Portland.
“My father’s health struggles inspired me to pursue a degree in family medicine and address healthcare disparities against minority communities,” said scholarship awardee, Zemzem Hussen. “I will work towards an equitable system that works for all.”
“Being an immigrant with parents who have not attended college and are non-English speakers, came with many barriers when it came to my education,” continued Zemzem. “As such, I pursue every available opportunity to reach my goals. Though financially college is a barrier for me, I know that with the help of the Oregon College Savings Plan’s scholarship and hard work my goals of gaining higher education will be accomplished.”
Two new Oregon College Savings Plan scholarship recipients are selected each year, with awardees receiving $10,000 for their freshman year and $5,000 for each of the next three years of full-time enrollment, or until completion of degree (whichever comes earlier).
“We are excited that Treasury’s ‘Diversity in Leadership Scholarship’ will make it easier for students with barriers to higher education such as Zemzem and Monserrat, to pursue their education and job training,” said Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read. “Inclusion is vital. All students deserve access to a quality and affordable education right here in Oregon.”
The Diversity in Leadership Scholarship awards (www.oregoncollegesavings.com/diversity-in-leadership-scholarship) may be used to attend a range of Oregon institutions, including apprenticeships, trade schools, community colleges, colleges or universities. The application opens in early November each year, with a deadline of early March, for the following academic year.
The scholarship is being administered through the Oregon Community Foundation’s (OCF) scholarship program (https://oregoncf.org/grants-and-scholarships/scholarships/)—one of the largest of its kind in the country. When fully rolled out, the program is anticipated to fund $50,000 in scholarships each year to a class of eight students.
The scholarship announcement follows the launch of another Oregon College Savings Plan collaboration, the Oregon Scholars program (www.oregoncollegesavings.com/oregon-scholars). This first-of-its-kind partnership allows undergraduate students to double the impact of their college savings with a dollar-for-dollar match at participating schools.
The Oregon College Savings Plan is a state-sponsored savings program that comes with special tax advantages and can be opened by just about anyone—parents, family, friends, even future students. The money saved in the Oregon College Savings Plan grows tax-free and can be used for qualified expenses at any accredited, post-secondary institution or trade school. To learn more and to open an account, please visit www.oregoncollegesavings.com
or call 866-772-8464.
The Oregon Treasury Savings Network, part of the Oregon State Treasury, was launched in January 2001 to administer the Oregon College Savings Plan. It has since expanded to administer the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan and national ABLE for ALL Savings Plan, and the first state-run retirement program, OregonSaves.