3 Students Share How a Maps Foundation Scholarship Will Help Them Achieve Their Goals

The Maps Community Foundation recently awarded scholarships totaling $27,500 to 23 local Marion and Polk County high school students to further their post-secondary education.

The scholarships, awarded this month, are going to students from Salem-Keizer School District, North Santiam School District, Silver Falls School District, Gervais School District, Central School District, St. Paul School District, and Regis St. Mary Catholic School.

One scholarship recipient, Aracely Salazar-Cervantes of North Salem High School, wants to major in Business Management and start her own business. Specifically, she aspires to provide safe, stable jobs for field workers like her parents. She witnessed how they were mistreated at work and wants to ensure others have a different experience.

“Being born and raised as a person of color, I experienced a great deal of prejudice towards my family and I throughout all my life,” said Salazar-Cervantes. “I want to make a difference, not just in my community, but all around the world.”

Mason Luna of Stayton High School, another scholarship recipient, has made the most of his high school experience, both academically and through service to his community. He has participated in sports, volunteered for disaster relief efforts in the Santiam Canyon, and will have earned more than 40 college credits by the time he graduates in June. The Maps Community Foundation scholarship is helping him pursue a degree in Business Management.

“This scholarship will help me show my community that you can still go to a university even though you might not make that much money,” Luna explained. “Most people in my community can only afford community colleges or just don’t go to college at all … If you put your mind to it, anyone can go to a university.”

Ava Bush of Silverton High School is looking to turn what started as a hobby into her vocation. Bush began experimenting with hair and makeup in middle school and found that not only was it enjoyable, but she was good at it. She especially enjoys special effects makeup and has been attending cosmetology school part-time while in high school. Part of the draw of this venture is making people feel good about themselves, Bush said, and the scholarship she received will help her do just that.

“I want to be able to give other people the confidence to go out into the world and be proud of who they are.”

These are just three stories of the graduating seniors who are receiving scholarships from the Maps Community Foundation for the 2022-2023 school year. Among the students selected for scholarships are a future civil engineer, marine biologist, radiologist, hair designer, and a nurse. In this diverse group of students, many are the first in their families to seek a college education, all are active in their communities, and all have a desire to give back.

Scholarships range in size from $500 to $3,500. Several scholarships are designated for students of color, students who are the first generation in their family to attend college, and career and technical education students. Two of the largest scholarships, the Phil Frey Memorial Scholarship ($3,500) and the Gordon Sawser Memorial Scholarship ($3,500), are given in honor of former Maps board members.

Posted in CU Difference.