Thanks to the generous donations of community members, the Wallowa Fund has awarded two $500 scholarships for students planning to return to or remain in Wallowa County after completing their education. One scholarship is for a graduating high school senior and one is for a young adult (age 35 or younger).
Cody Arbogast of Enterprise was the awarded the high school senior scholarship. Cody is preparing for a professional career in the horse industry. This fall he enrolled at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming in the Equine Science program, and was recruited for the Equine Judging Team. As a member of the team he will have the opportunity to travel to regional and national judging contests, as well as to tour professional training operations and engage in judging practices with leading U.S. trainers.
After college, Cody plans to return to Wallowa County to start his own training program and carry on his grandfathers’ legacy of working with horses. The goal of returning to Wallowa County is important to him. “Our schools and businesses need families to stay and make a home here. I am lucky that the career I have chosen allows me to live almost anywhere. I want to live here because of the sense of community. Many times I have seen the county step up to help out a neighbor in need. I want to live in that type of county. I want to support a community that has always supported me,” says Cody.
Cody Arbogast, 2013 Wallowa Fund Scholarship Recipient
Jessica Mendez of Wallowa is the recipient of the young adult scholarship. Jessica is currently attending Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington. After finishing her prerequisites, she plans to transfer to Eastern Oregon University to complete a Bachelor of Science in nursing. Her long term goal is to become a pediatric nurse practitioner with the ability to provide bilingual services in Wallowa County.
Jessica moved to Wallowa County as child and by the age of eight was already translating for her Spanish-speaking parents at medical appointments and school meetings. At first, Jessica questioned her parents’ decision to accept a job in such an isolated place, but after starting school, she met a teacher who changed her life. “I don’t think I would be the person I am now, if not for my teacher’s personal dedication and hours of nurturing. Learning a second language is difficult, sometimes painful. It allowed me to develop the philosophy that if we have a desire to learn, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to,” says Jessica. Now Wallowa County is home and Jessica wants to come back, raise a family and make a living here. She wants to be able to give back many of the gifts she and her family have received in years past and to be a role model for others, showing them that they too can better their lives through education.
Jessica Mendez, 2013 Wallowa Fund Scholarship Recipient