Oregon College Savings Plan scholarship funds underrepresented students attending Oregon institutions
Salem, OR—The Oregon College Saving Plan, a program of the Oregon State Treasury, today announced the recipients of the 2023 Diversity in Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship, now in its third year, is awarded annually to underrepresented and diverse Oregon high school graduates pursuing higher education in the state. This year's scholarship awards were presented to two outstanding individuals who have shown exceptional promise and dedication to their academic pursuits.
The first of the two awardees, Ashley Chavez, plans to pursue a degree in Psychology at the University of Oregon. Ashley's achievements impressed the scholarship committee, in addition to their determination to overcome pervasive discrimination, based on both race and gender identity, “Growing up with undocumented parents in Central Oregon, I was aware that although my parents worked multiple jobs tirelessly to provide me with the necessities of life, our family could be separated any day.”
They expressed their gratitude and excitement with the award, stating, "This scholarship would be life-changing, as the first U.S. citizen born of my family, I am aware that through my education I can get to a place where I can continue to help and actually change things for my undocumented immigrant community."
The second awardee, Dex Dumore, will be pursuing EMS/Paramedicine at Rogue Community College. Dex's heritage as a Klamath Native has fueled their passion to overcome historical oppression and to be a strong voice for their community. They aspire to make a difference as a paramedic and bring attention to the contributions and struggles of their people. They share, "Throughout history my people have been oppressed and silenced, especially in education. The Oregon College Savings Plan's scholarship will help me to independently fund my own education and create a safety net for emergency situations, all while being loud and proud about the blood coursing through my veins."
Dex advocates for loving every person as equals and embracing them as part of your community, a life philosophy that stems strongly from their ancestral beliefs, combined with their belonging to the LGBTQ+ community, adding, “I was raised to walk through life unapologetically myself and I refuse to be silenced by any person or system.”
The Diversity in Leadership Scholarship is administered through the Oregon Community Foundation’s (OCF) scholarship program, one of the largest of its kind in the country. With the support of OCF, the Oregon College Savings Plan aims to award $50,000 in scholarships each year to a class of eight students once fully rolled out. The scholarship application opens in early November each year, with a deadline of early March, for the following academic year.
“This is a good investment for Oregon,” said Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read. “Fostering a diverse and equitable environment where students like Dex and Ashley can thrive is at the heart of Treasury’s Diversity and Leadership Scholarship. With each class of awardees, we aim to celebrate the unique contributions of every individual and the role they’ll play in building a stronger Oregon for generations to come.”
The Oregon College Savings Plan scholarship is designed to provide each awardee with $10,000 for their freshman year and $5,000 for each of the next three years of full-time enrollment or until the completion of their degree, whichever comes earlier. Ashley and Dex join last year’s awardees as part of a select group of students whose higher education is being funded on a multiyear basis by the Oregon College Savings Plan, empowering them to pursue their dreams and contribute positively to their communities.
For more information about the Oregon College Savings Plan and the Diversity and Leadership Scholarship, please visit www.oregoncollegesavings.com/diversity-in-leadersh...
The Oregon College Savings Plan (OCSP) is a program of the Oregon State Treasury that helps families save for future education expenses. OCSP offers a range of investment options and tax benefits to help savers prepare for the costs of education and training after high school. Savings grow tax-free and can be used to pay for trade school, college, certification programs, and so much more. It’s easy to get started at OregonCollegeSavings.com.
The Oregon Treasury Savings Network, part of the Oregon State Treasury, was launched in 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.