Two Henley 2020 graduates selected as Ford Scholars
Jessi Fellows and Karina Gonzalez join five other winners from Klamath County Schools
Two Henley High School 2020 graduates have been selected as Ford Scholars, winning Ford Family Foundation scholarships that will pay for 90 percent of their college costs for four years.
Henley’s Jessi Fellows and Karina Gonzalez join five other Klamath County School District graduates in earning the coveted scholarship. Recipients announced earlier were Bonanza seniors Cassidy Byrne, Chris Eck, and Breanna Mestas; Lost River senior Yulisa Alonzo Zamora; and Gilchrist senior Larken Ackley.
“We are extremely proud of these two young women and their accomplishments,” said Andrea Gray, vice principal at Henley High School. “The Ford Scholarship Committee could not have chosen two individuals more deserving; they will not be disappointed in their choice.”
Principal Jack Lee agreed. “Jessi and Karina epitomize the definition of what the Ford Scholarship Committee looks for every year,” he said.
Of 6,000 or so applicants, the Ford Family Foundation this year selected 113 students from Oregon and 17 students from Siskiyou County, Calif., who demonstrated exceptional academic and personal potential. The Ford Scholars scholarship covers 90 percent of unmet college costs and is calculated on cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board, personal costs, etc.), minus other grants and scholarships.
“We strive to select recipients whose past and potential are worthy of special support,” according to the Ford Family Foundation. “Scholarship awardees demonstrate an understanding of the value of education, work, taking responsibility, giving back, and helping others.”
Here are the community’s latest Ford Scholars:
Jessi Fellows, 17, graduated high school a year early after taking an additional six classes for dual credit at Klamath Community College and completing a senior capstone project.
She will attend Oregon Institute of Technology in the fall in the pre-nursing program. From there, she plans to study nursing at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) at its La Grande campus.
During high school, she maintained a 4.0 GPA and was involved in volleyball, FFA, and HOSA. She currently works as a veterinary assistant at Companion Pet Clinic.
“My family and mom are my biggest motivators,” Jessi said.
Karina Gonzalez, 18, plans to attend the University of Oregon and pursue a degree in human physiology.
Her plans include a career in the medical field. During high school, she took a health occupations class, which provided opportunities to shadow staff at Sky Lakes Medical Center, and she recently earned her CNA (certified nursing assistant) license.
“I want to help others as much as I can, to help put good out in the world and help those in need,” she said. “I found a great way to do that is through the medical field.”
Karina graduated Henley with a 3.9 GPA, participating in JROTC, HOSA, and National Honor Society. She has worked at H&R Block since her sophomore year, and is a member of the Latino Dancers in accordance with Lutheran Community Services.
“My parents are the biggest motivation in my life,” Karina said. “They’ve always been the ones to encourage me to continue forward and take advantage of the opportunities I have that they didn’t have. They both have sacrificed a lot for my siblings and I, and all I want is to make them proud.”