Pastor’s Letter – May 2024

Dear Family,

What resulted from initial discussions during the Tuesday morning men’s group in 2007 has continued to be realized through SCF’s Scholarship Program, Partnership in Education. Though the program was approved by the Management Board in early 2008, the economic crisis later that year necessitated a launching postponement until a future time.

In late 2010 with the economy experiencing a positive recovery, the scholarship plan was revisited. The original proposal was updated, a new Scholarship Committee was formed, and promotional and application materials were developed. In the winter of 2011, the program was introduced to career department leaders in local Bend-La Pine high schools, and that spring, $5,000 was awarded to the first scholarship recipients.

This spring the program enters its fourteenth year. It targets specifically young people who live in this area, attended our local Three Rivers School, and are now seeking higher education. Applicants must either be graduating this spring or already graduated from any Bend-La Pine high school. One important feature of our scholarship, and often missing in other scholarship programs, is the opportunity for a recipient to reapply annually up through the completion of one’s undergraduate program, whether their goal is a Certificate, Associate, or Bachelor degree. Currently, 202 scholarships have been awarded to 76 individuals, of which 51 of those recipients have reapplied at least once, and of those, over half continued to reapply up to the completion of their respective program. As of this past fall, $328,850 in scholarship assistance has been awarded.

One goal of the program is to see a recipient complete their program and receive their degree. I recently contacted several scholarship recipient graduates to find out – Where are you now? and What are you doing? Here are a few responses that came back to me:

Allison (Lake) Marvin – I received my veterinary technology degree from COCC in 2016. I ended up completing my degree in biology, then decided to switch species from human medicine to veterinary medicine. I went back and obtained another degree in veterinary technology, and have been working for Oregon State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Corvallis, OR for the past (almost) 8 years. I work in the cardiology department, where I get to help treat patients, and also help instruct future veterinarians. I also have a new 8-month old baby girl at home. Life is good!

Karlie Holmgren – After graduating from OSU Cascades in 2017, I’ve spent five years in equipment finance and two years in the beauty industry, launching my own small business. I keep finding myself back in the finance industry, drawn to its challenges, networking opportunities, and potential. Currently, I’m a project manager for a small equipment finance brokerage, overseeing various tasks like marketing, title work, and operational functions. Working for a startup allows me the opportunity to wear many hats and learn from them all. It’s surreal how distant college feels, yet somehow at the same time feels like just yesterday. Excited to see where the next seven years will take me in my career!

Andrew Vanasen – After graduating from OSU in 2019, I ended up enlisting in the Air Force and served a 3- year tour in England as an Aerospace Propulsion Technician, which was mostly working on the engines for the F-15E Strike Eagle. About 4 weeks ago I moved to Denver and I’m now working as an engineer for United Launch Alliance helping to design and build rockets! I have also switched from active duty to the Reserves, so I will be continuing my military service part time.

Ben Plant – I graduated from Oregon State University with a Mathematics degree in 2022. I am currently working for the State of Oregon as Fiscal Analyst working directly with State agencies to determine current and future budgeting as well as some accounting.

From its beginning, the scholarship program is selfsustaining. No monies are contributed to it from the SCF general budget. The committee works diligently to secure grant monies, solicit both individual and business donations, and plan special fundraising events. If you would like to financially contribute to this important SCF outreach, please make out your check to “SCF” and put “Scholarship Program” on the memo line.

The Partnership in Education program would not have achieved its current position without the support and help from many members of our SCF family. Thank you for your faithful generosity and encouragement throughout these 14 years. It’s making a difference!

Pastor Rob