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Ford Family Scholarship covers up to 90 percent of student's unmet college need

PATRICK EVANS - Four of the five Woodburn Ford Scholars are (from left) Angie Garcia, Daisy Tapia, Miguel Legaria, and Juan RiveraFive Woodburn High School seniors received Ford Family Foundation scholarships this year. Ford scholarships award 90 percent of unmet need, up to $25,000 per year.

Woodburn students Flor Campos, Angelica Garcia, Miguel Legaria, Juan Rivera and Daisy Tapia became the newest Woodburn Ford winners. WHS now has 26 Ford winners, including Miguel Legaria's older sister Melissa Legaria, who is currently at Willamette University.

The Independent sat down with Garcia, Legaria, Rivera and Tapia to hear about their college plans; Campos was unfortunately unavailable.

Daisy Tapia, Academy of International Studies

Tapia was overjoyed when she found out she had won a Ford Scholarship and ran to tell her parents after reading the first line of the letter.

"Oh my god, I was so happy," Tapia said. "I went to the mailbox, and I read the letter, the first word was like congratulations! I ran back to my house and told my parents, and they were super happy too."

Tapia will attend Linfield College in McMinnville. She is still undecided about a major, but said she is interested in engineering, business and communication.

Tapia became interested in engineering by taking International Baccalaureate math and science classes.

"I really like math, and I like to work with numbers," she said.

In her sophomore year Tapia started a Spanish language radio show with Radio Movimiento informing parents about school programs and bringing in guests from the district.

Tapia wants to study abroad, and travel to Chile. After graduating she hopes to return to Woodburn and give back to the community.

Juan Rivera, Wellness, Business and Sports School

Rivera found out about the scholarship when he got home after school. His sister had already opened the letter and was waiting for him.

"When I saw it said congratulations, right then and there I kind of like, threw the paper down and may have cursed, I was really excited. It felt almost like a dream," Rivera said.

Rivera will be attending University of Oregon, and is interested in business administration. He was first interested in UO as a freshman because of their football team, and later learned that the university is also the top business school in the state. Rivera has played on the Woodburn football team and he said he might like to mix business and his passion for sports by studying sports marketing.

Rivera said he is interested in studying abroad.

" I think it would be really cool to go to Germany, I think there or France," he said.

Angelica Garcia, Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology

Garcia had a lot riding on her hope for the Ford Scholarship.

"It was a determining factor in whether or not I would go to the school I wanted to," she said.

Her first impression? "Grateful. It's going to do a lot for me," Garcia said.

Garcia wants to double major in philosophy and either history or political science at the University of Portland. She said she wants to be an attorney and work as an advocate for people who are underrepresented.

"My whole life growing up in Woodburn where there are a lot of minorities (inspired me)," Garcia said.

She wants to educate people about the options they have for empowerment and improving their situations.

"I want to make that accessible, I want to help people," Garcia said.

Garcia is a member of Woodburn's jazz band and plans to audition for UP's jazz ensemble and play tenor sax or clarinet.

"Even though I'm not going to major in anything music related, I've played for so long that I can't imagine not doing it," Garcia said.

Miguel Legaria, WeBSS

Legaria was almost too scared to open the envelope when his Ford letter arrived.

"I was lost for emotions, I was tempted to open it, but I was really scared because this is the first scholarship that I would have won," Legaria said.

"I opened it late at night in my room, the only thing I really remember is like a sigh of relief," he continued.

Legaria is heading to Portland State to double major in biology and marketing. While at Woodburn he took part in the Cure internship program, studying the cancer-causing effects of radiation on genes in space with a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University.

Legaria also attended a business internship program at Portland State for a week and became intersted in marketing.

"We did marketing and made our own sales pitch. Getting into the mind of people and figuring out what they like, what they don't, that attracted me," he said.

Legaria also mixes and produces hip hop tracks. He would like to continue learning about music production and minor in music at PSU.

The Ford Scholars Program was created by Kenneth W. Ford, a founder of The Ford Family Foundation, to assist students who face significant financial barriers obtaining a college degree, according to The Ford Family Foundation. High school seniors qualify who plan to enroll full time in their state of residence, and award amount is calculated on cost of attendance minus other grants and scholarship.

Patrick Evans

Reporter

503-765-1195

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