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Class of 2014

Benito Torres-Mata
North Medford High School
Oregon Institute of Technology

When he was young, Benito Torres-Mata sometimes missed school to work and help his mom provide food for his five siblings.  His father has been in prison for most of his life.  As he grew older, many of his peers started getting into trouble and experimenting with drugs. Benito focused on academics. His passion for soccer helps keep him on track. Benito looks forward to being the first in his family to obtain a college degree.

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Brook Thompson
Franklin High School
Portland State University

Brook Thompson’s life has been touched by poverty, alcoholism, and the loss of her grandfather and role model, Archie Thompson.  Archie was one of the last native speakers of the Yurok tribe. School has always been a place for Brook to shine. Her pride in her heritage and her passion for the environment have inspired her to pursue a degree in environmental engineering.

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Isaiah Eddington
Roosevelt High School
Oregon State University

Isaiah Eddington grew up in poverty, and his family moved frequently. When his mother ended up in an abusive relationship, Isaiah eventually found stability by moving in with his grandparents. Isaiah works hard to be a role model for his younger half-brother and the middle school students that he mentors. Community involvement and music keep him focused on his academics. He plans to study computer science or game design.

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Paige Freerksen
Springfield High School
Oregon State University

As a 5-year-old, Paige Freerksen witnessed her mother’s arrest on drug charges. After a year in foster care, Paige was reunited with her mom and grandparents. She was homeless for a period in 5th grade, and again in 7th grade. That was the last time she lived with her family. Today, Paige is excelling academically and earning her own living, still finding time to run track and volunteer.  She loves to travel, and is considering a degree in international studies. 

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