PORTLAND — OnPoint Community Credit Union and the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) today announced the six graduating seniors who have won scholarships of up to $5,000 through the 2021 OnPoint Community Credit Union Scholar Program. OnPoint and the OSAA’s partnership recognizes graduating Scholar Athletes and Activity Scholars from OSAA member schools with two $5,000 scholarships and four $1,000 scholarships. The two winners of the $5,000 scholarships are Emilie Chau of South Salem High School and Julia Scher of South Eugene High School. The four winners of the $1,000 scholarships are Seth Handman of Creswell High School, Sabrina Li of Clackamas High School, Ayden Wolgamott of Elmira High School and Cecilia Wu of Franklin High School. Throughout the nomination period from April 1-30, 2021, OnPoint received over 320 submissions from 153 OSAA member schools.
“The Class of 2021 has adapted to unconventional learning environments, interruptions on the field and stage, and missing out on experiences that enrich the high school experience,” said Rob Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer, OnPoint Community Credit Union. “We are proud to partner with the OSAA to honor six outstanding students who worked hard and remained dedicated through exceptional challenges. This year’s winners have worked tirelessly to inspire their community and achieve great success both in and out of the classroom. We celebrate their accomplishments and wish them continued success as they begin their next chapter.”
OnPoint’s Scholar Program honors graduating seniors who have achieved a 3.50 or higher unweighted cumulative grade point average (GPA) and have earned either a varsity letter in an OSAA-sanctioned sport or competed in an OSAA-sanctioned activity. Winners were selected based on two letters of recommendation and essay questions around community leadership, academic achievement and how participating in OSAA activities helped them achieve their goals.
“We are excited to partner with OnPoint for the third year to honor those students who have gone the extra mile in academics, athletics, activities and their community,” said Peter Weber, Executive Director, Oregon School Activities Association. “These students have worked hard to achieve great success despite uncommon circumstances. Our community is the beneficiary of their commitment to excellence, and we look forward to seeing what they accomplish next.”
Winners of the 2021 OnPoint Community Credit Union Scholar Program:
$5,000 Scholarships Winners
Emilie Chau of South Salem High School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma candidate and ranks first out of 425 students in her class with a cumulative 4.0 GPA. She ran on the varsity cross country and track and field teams for the last four years and served as captain her senior year. Chau holds leadership positions across various student groups, including second violin chair for South Salem’s Orchestra and President of the Speech and Debate Club. She has supported the community through her roles as Vice President and Editor of the student-led Key Club and as a member of the National Honor Society. Chau also volunteers at Salem Hospital, Salem Police Department and PDX Concierge, helping deliver groceries to immunocompromised residents during COVID-19. She will attend Princeton University.
“Cross-country, orchestra and other OSAA-sanctioned activities have impacted me for the better, teaching me life lessons on leadership, perseverance and sportsmanship,” said Chau. “I am honored to be selected out of an incredible group of remarkable and talented individuals. Being recognized by OnPoint helps me as I pursue a Public Policy degree at Princeton University with hopes of creating a more equal society.”
Julia Scher of South Eugene High School graduates as a French immersion student in the IB Diploma Program with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, taking many Advanced Placement (AP) courses. She is a youth community representative for Ophelia’s Place Board of Directors, a local organization working to create an empowering environment for girls. Scher is also a part of the Women’s Advisory Council for Youth (WACY) at Ophelia’s Place and created inspiring women-focused events to give young girls opportunities to learn from women in the community about their careers. She affected real change at her school, organizing a student-led movement to successfully change the school mascot from the “Axemen” to the “Axe”. The change prompted a Title IX investigation that resulted in women’s locker room upgrades and evaluations for gender inequities across the school. Scher ran track and field and played varsity volleyball for South Eugene High School. She will attend Yale University.
“Participating in OSAA sanctioned sports allowed me to experience team sports, self-discover and develop confidence in my abilities,” said Scher. “Winning OnPoint’s $5,000 scholarship will be critical in helping pay for my college. I am thankful to be rewarded for following my passions and I could not have done it without those who helped me to accomplish my goals.”
$1,000 Scholarship Winners
Seth Handman of Creswell High School is involved with Unified Basketball, a basketball league giving students with and without disabilities the chance to play basketball together and have opportunities they may not usually have to play sports. Despite the challenges he’s faced having a learning disability, Handman achieved academic success and developed his own learning methods to stay on track. He joined the varsity cross country team, which helped him learn the importance of persistence, perseverance and hard work. Handman was recognized with the OnPoint Community Credit Union Academic All-State award for varsity boys’ cross country, placing in the top ten of the state’s highest cumulative team GPA. In the future, he wants to work with people with disabilities.
Sabrina Li of Clackamas High School created the National Tech Honor Society (NTHS), a club for socioeconomically disadvantaged Clackamas High School students that provides scholarships, internships, college guidance and events to help students navigate their futures. She’s coordinated events and opportunities for 150 club members, including a guest lecture series to learn about potential career fields and internships across Reed College with faculty. Li challenges herself academically, taking AP science and history courses and math, as well as public speaking courses at Clackamas Community College. She will attend Emory University.
Ayden Wolgamott of Elmira High School serves as a teen counselor for the Eugene Police Department’s Safety Town program to teach kindergarten students the importance of safety as they begin their first day of school. He maintained a cumulative 4.1 GPA throughout high school and received various academic awards in music, math and weightlifting. Wolgamott is a three-sport athlete, holding captain positions on the Elmira High School wrestling, football and basketball teams. He will attend Southern Oregon University in the fall.
Cecilia Wu of Franklin High School is a first-generation college student and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was two years old. Since kindergarten, she pursued opportunities in and outside of school to teach herself English and improve her writing, speaking and reading skills, culminating in her enrollment in AP English and Literature classes during her last two years of high school. Wu discovered her passion for social entrepreneurship last spring when she founded Genoploy, a team of bilingual peers who assist people with language barriers apply for benefits like unemployment. At Stanford University, she plans to study business and its cross-cultural impact.
All graduating seniors in the Scholar Program were eligible to apply for a scholarship. The Scholar Program is part of OnPoint’s partnership with OSAA as the title sponsor of the Oregon high school state championships.
ABOUT ONPOINT COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION
OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving over 437,000 members and with assets of $8.3 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 28 Oregon counties (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler, and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark) and their immediate family members. More information is available at www.onpointcu.com or 503-228-7077 or 800-527-3932.
ABOUT THE OREGON SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATION
The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) is a private non-profit, board-governed association comprised of 293 member high schools. A member of the National Federation of State High School Associations, the OSAA annually sponsors 113 team and 426 individual event state championships for students competing in 19 interscholastic activities. For more information, www.osaa.org or follow @OSAASports on social media.