OCF’s Earl and Jane Ferguson Scholarship Fund to make awards
The Earl and Jane Ferguson Scholarship Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation has just announced the funding of new scholarships for four deserving Klamath County students to help make their dreams of higher education a reality. Since the Earl and Jane Ferguson Scholarship Fund awarded its first scholarships in 1999, the fund has awarded more than $65,000 to Klamath County students, including $4,000 awarded for the 2017-2018 school year.
As seen in the strong growth in OCF’s scholarship program, Oregonians are putting their resources toward easing the financial burden on students pursuing higher education. The amount awarded annually by OCF via individual scholarships has more than doubled in recent years as have the number of scholarship funds. OCF awards approximately 45 scholarships each year to Klamath County students for a total of around $700,000 in awards during the past five years. Since 2008, OCF has awarded 3,155 scholarships in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake Counties for a total of $8,546,464 to students pursuing higher education.
Recipients this year of an Earl and Jane Ferguson Scholarship include Ryley Beyerlin, graduating at the top of his senior class at Lost River Jr./Sr. High School. He has been accepted to Western Oregon University to study criminal justice. Ryley wants to ultimately work for the Oregon State Police in the Fish and Wildlife Division.
Blake Haigh is the Henley High School senior class valedictorian and a rodeo competitor. Blake hopes to attend California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California and study animal science. His goal is to turn his passion and degree into innovation in the agricultural industry.
Lost River Jr./Sr. High School senior, Hannah McAuliffe, will also graduate at the top of her class and then head to Oregon State University in the fall. Her community, Future Farmers of America and an incredible teacher have inspired her to pursue a degree in agricultural science with the goal to become an agricultural educator.
Cierra Zahler also received a scholarship and plans to attend Oregon State University in the fall. Cierra is an honors student at Mazama High School, with an interest in pursuing a kinesiology degree at Oregon State University and ultimately a career as a physical therapist.
“This contribution is very important in allowing me to attend my dream college,” said Blake Haigh. “I look forward to being able to study a major that I have had a passion for since I was a little boy. With my career, I hope to one day make advancements that will come back to benefit the Klamath Basin.”
Each student has overcome adversity to excel in school and will now get the support to continue reaching for their academic and professional goals.
As Mrs. Ferguson stated, “They (students) will work for their education if given the opportunity to get started.”
Mr. Ferguson added, “My family had needs when I was growing up, and the community helped us. Jane and I felt that if we were ever in a position to pay the community back, helping those less fortunate, we would.”
OCF administers one of the largest private scholarship programs of its kind in the nation, managed with expertise and efficiency through a unique partnership with the state’s Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC).
OCF donors have established scholarship funds currently valued at more than $134 million and in 2017, these funds provided $10 million in scholarships to Oregonians of all ages and backgrounds, helping 3,250 students achieve their education and career goals. These funds come at a crucial time for Oregon’s students, as they could face tuition increases of three to four percent for the 2018-2019 academic school year. More information about the OCF scholarship program can be found at www.oregoncf.org/give/scholarship-donors.