Salem, OR (WorkersCompensation.com) - Eight Oregon high school graduates are recipients of the 2019 Workers' Memorial Scholarship awards, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) announced. The awards program helps finance higher education for family members of Oregon workers who have been fatally injured or permanently disabled on the job.
Each of the recipients has different educational pursuits, career aspirations, and plans to contribute to something larger than themselves. All of them have experienced the personal and financial hardships that result when a parent is lost to a workplace death or permanently disabled while on the job.
“In the face of immense challenges, these young people have shown courage by never giving up on themselves or their drive toward new educational accomplishments,” said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. “These awards are an opportunity for us to support them as they continue to move forward in life.”
The Workers' Memorial Scholarship is open to any high school graduate, graduating high school senior, GED recipient, or current college undergraduate or graduate student who is a dependent or spouse of an Oregon worker who has been fatally injured or permanently disabled while on the job. Learn more about the program.
This year's recipients are:
Salma Anguiano, Hermiston
Anguiano is a 2018 graduate of Hermiston High School. She is studying American government and politics, and ethnic studies at Whitman College. Anguiano hopes to attend law school. She said she's interested in immigration law and “perhaps working on creating equitable public policy.”
She added that the obstacles she's overcome in her life have “made me more compassionate for others, and I hope to use this compassion to create public policy that helps Americans everywhere.”
A vehicle accident left her stepfather, who worked at a dairy farm, a quadriplegic. Anguiano is receiving a $5,500 award.
Abbey Dieu, Coquille
A graduate of Coquille High School, Dieu will begin coursework in physical therapy at Linn-Benton Community College in the fall. She plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in general science, with the larger goal of securing a career in physical therapy.
Dieu's father, a logger, was struck by a fallen tree in an accident that nearly claimed his life. She is receiving a $2,500 award.
During her dad's ordeal, Dieu said, she learned just how important the smallest moments in life are with the people we love. “I also learned that I am stronger than I believe, and through the toughest times, there are positives to be found,” she said.
Ginger Ewing, Bandon
Ewing graduated from Bandon High School this year. She plans to study nursing at Linfield College, with a goal of securing a master's degree in that field.
“The ability to help people and their families warms my heart with the knowledge that I'm benefitting others,” Ewing said.
Ewing's father, a cattle ranch worker, was fatally kicked in the head by a horse. She is receiving a $4,000 award.
Samantha Hull, Portland
Hull is a 2018 graduate of Portland Christian High School. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in elementary education and teaching at Corban University.
Hull sees herself becoming an elementary school teacher who creates a positive and lasting influence on her young students. “It is important to have a good foundation in your education, and I want to be beneficial in as many kids' lives as possible,” she said.
Hull's father died in a forklift accident before she was born. She is receiving a $500 award.
Ora Kuhse, Springfield
A graduate of Springfield High School, Kuhse will attend Lane Community College in the fall. She will immerse herself in the study and application of beauty treatment, with an eye toward eventually fashioning a career as a licensed cosmetologist.
Kuhse also volunteers to help the homeless, providing them with food, blankets, and hand and foot warmers. One day, she hopes to own her own beauty salon and to give to the less fortunate through her business.
“I feel that everyone deserves to be treated like they are human and they matter,” she said.
Kuhse's father, a press operator, died in an industrial accident at a plywood plant. She is receiving a $2,500 award.
Grace Milner, Silverton
A graduate of Silverton High School, Milner is pursuing a bachelor's degree in pediatric nursing – with a minor in Spanish – at Linfield College.
Milner said her younger brother's battle – and eventual victory over – cancer, during which nurses provided comprehensive care, inspired her to pursue a career in the profession. Not only did the nurses care for her brother, Milner said, “but my family and I as well.”
Her stepfather died in a car accident while traveling for work. Milner is receiving a $5,500 award.
Alannah Rudduck, Warrenton
After graduating from Warrenton High School, Rudduck earned three associate's degrees at Mt. Hood Community College. She is now working toward a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene at Augusta University in Georgia. She also plans to pursue a minor in business.
Rudduck is a long-time community volunteer, having delivered food to hundreds of families in need in Warrenton every year since she was in the sixth grade. She has also volunteered at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, including stocking medical carts and helping prepare rooms after discharges.
Rudduck's father, a police officer, died in the line of duty. She is receiving a $4,000 award.
Sydney Sampson, Springfield
A graduate of Henry D. Sheldon High School who completed coursework at Lane Community College, Sampson will be a sophomore at the University of Oregon in the fall. At the university, she is double-majoring in political science and international studies.
After she obtains her bachelor's degree, Sampson said, she plans to volunteer with the Peace Corps. Ultimately, she aspires to become the first black female Secretary-General of the United Nations. “I believe everybody has the power to make a difference in this world,” Sampson said, “and I want to use my life to help others who don't have the access to the same opportunities that I have been given.”
Sampson's stepfather, a police officer, was shot to death in the line of duty. She is receiving a $500 award.
Award recommendations are made by Oregon OSHA's Safe Employment Education and Training Advisory Committee, an advisory group with members from business, organized labor, and government. Oregon OSHA presents the awards annually to help in the postsecondary education of spouses or children of permanently and totally disabled or fatally injured workers.
The 1991 Legislature established the Workers' Memorial Scholarship at the request of the Oregon AFL-CIO, with support from Associated Oregon Industries.