St. Helens grads get full ride to Oregon Tech
Two St. Helens High School graduates will be the first from Columbia County to study at the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center in Scappoose.
Jacob Falk and Pacey Littleton, who both graduated from SHHS in June, were awarded four-year scholarships and full tuition to Oregon Institute of Technology. The scholarships were provided to five high school students throughout Oregon thanks to the Robert J. and Leona DeArmond Public Foundation. The foundation awarded $300,000 to Oregon Tech to support engineering and technology studies.
Scholarship applicants had to undergo a competitive application and interview process, according to Oregon Tech, who announced the scholarship recipients in a news release Thursday.
Falk and Littleton will begin Oregon Tech this September, but before they head off to college, both students are slated to begin internships at OMIC in Scappoose this summer.
OMIC is operated by Oregon Tech and is being developed and equipped with machinery to allow engineering, research and development related to manufacturing.
Falk and Littleton will assist with research and other projects at OMIC before starting college this fall, according to the news release.
"Both Jacob Falk and Pacey Littleton will study Manufacturing Engineering Technology at Oregon Tech's Portland-Metro campus in Wilsonville," the news release from Oregon Tech states. "The other three student awardees attended Glencoe, Liberty and Mazama High Schools."
Falk was an honor student at SHHS, who was active in athletics, according to Oregon Tech.
As a high school student, he learned how to write code in several languages and became adept at drafting, 3D printing, woodworking, plumbing, audio systems and auto mechanics.
"I'm eager to start class at Oregon Tech in the fall to study manufacturing engineering technology and to complete internship opportunities at OMIC R&D," Falk stated via news release. "The DeArmond Foundation has provided me with a profound opportunity to jumpstart my future by attending a top-notch engineering school. Receiving this scholarship has been a life-changing event, I can't wait to capitalize on it."
During high school, Littleton learned how to diagnose and repair vehicles, while also working on metal fabrication, welding, soldering, using CNC machines, and doing mechanical drafting, the release notes. In addition to serving as the varsity soccer captain at SHHS, Littleton also earned auto mechanic certifications.
Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose, who has played a key role in the development and funding of OMIC, said she looks forward to the "valuable contributions" to Oregon Tech and OMIC that the first round of DeArmond scholars will bring.
"I'm so proud of the St. Helens students who have been awarded these prestigious scholarships," Johnson stated in the news release. "It really demonstrates the caliber of students that our schools produce, and says a lot about the quality of our teachers and counselors."
Students at Oregon Tech spend their first year developing foundational skills, then move on to honing technical skills in the following three years, according to the university.
Dr. Thomas Keyser, dean of engineering at Oregon Tech, said the college is proud to welcome Falk and Littleton as DeArmond scholars.
"They represent some of the most talented, hard-working students from across the state, and we look forward to their contributions during their time at our Portland-Metro campus," Keyser stated.