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Elvis Cruz, a 19-year-old Portland State student and member of the wait staff at the SpringRidge at Charbonneau assisted living facility, receives $1,000 scholarship.

After launching in 2019 and then being put on hold due to the pandemic, the SpringRidge Court Academic Scholarship Program finally named its first recipient on Friday, Aug. 19, in 19-year-old Portland State University student Elvis Cruz.

Cruz received a $1,000 academic scholarship, which will assist him as he pursues a bachelor's degree in civil engineering at PSU. He was recently accepted into the school of engineering. COURTESY PHOTO - Elvis Cruz holds the check for his $1,000 scholarship courtesy of the SpringRidge Court Academic Scholarship Program.

SpringRidge at Charbonneau Wilsonville, an assisted living facility, raises the scholarship money through its gift shop. Specific items are adorned with white tags to indicate that proceeds will go directly to the program.

"I love SpringRidge because they are very accepting of my schedule changes all the time, especially having different classes at different times," Cruz said.

He added: "It's really fun. I love talking to the residents. A lot of the residents give me a lot of good advice."

A member of the SpringeRidge wait staff for the past four years, Cruz heard about the program towards the beginning of the year through flyers. After submitting an application, which included an essay and letters of recommendation, he heard he had been awarded the honor early last week and took part in a ceremony on Friday, Aug. 19.

"We were so very, very impressed," program director Gayle Inman said. "All of these people that wrote the recommendations were just amazing as well. What a good worker he is. He goes above and beyond."

In his free time, Cruz enjoys car detailing. He picked it up just over a year ago. Now, it's become almost like a self-care routine — he relishes the escape.

As Inman and two other advisors finally sifted through the program's first ever batch of applications, the choice was clear.

"There was only one that we chose this year and he was so qualified to get it," Inman said.

"He's just a very nice young man. You have to have some ambition. You have to have good rapport with people."

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