On Saturday, May 18, College Possible Oregon celebrated the accomplishments of high school seniors with our annual Launch! Celebration. Over 200 students, family members, College Possible AmeriCorps and staff gathered to celebrate the class of 2019. The keynote speaker, and youngest Metro councilor in Washington County history, Juan Carlos González opened the event with an address. The councilor spoke about the importance of infrastructure and encouraged students use their education to give back to their communities.
Throughout Launch!, students had the chance to enter raffles to win amazing prizes, including signed Trail Blazers gear, speakers and headphones. Students were also nominated to win awards for their important accomplishments this year, such as the greatest ACT score increase, most scholarship applications submitted and best session attendance.
The first student speaker, Fama Gedi, is part of College Possible Oregon’s first class of college graduates. She spoke about her path through high school and college, starting with her early love of learning, as well as the challenges she faced in college.
“I loved college because it allowed me to grow spiritually, mentally, and intellectually…I started to question whether I belonged in higher education because of my friends being forced to dropout out due to tuition increases, lack of effective student resources, and lack of diversity. What helped me continue my journey was being vocal with friends, advisors and mentors.”
Fama graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in family and human services this March, and plans on earning a master’s degree in nonprofit management after taking a gap year.
The second student speaker, Yeidi Ramos Mendoza, is a senior at Riverside High School in Boardman, Oregon. This fall, she will attend the University of Portland and plans to major in biology, with the goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon and eventually starting her own nonprofit organization. Yeidi described a career goal change from editorial fashion to surgery in early high school:
“I soon realized that wasn’t going to work out since I don’t have a passion for fashion. What I do have a passion for is healthcare… The world needs a little bit of the best that you can offer, and it’s totally fine if you don’t know yet what you can offer. Trust me, you will figure it out.”
College Possible senior coaches gave a final speech to their students, reminding them to be proud of everything they have accomplished.
“Whether you lean on your family, trusted adults, friends, your College Possible cohort, current coaches, future coaches, or new communities in college, you have a network of people who deeply believe in your goals as you work towards them.”
We would like to thank all of our generous Launch! sponsors. Without you, this celebration would not have been possible.