Beat the Odds Class of 2018
For more than a decade, Stand for Children Leadership Center has awarded several $10,000 college scholarships at our annual Beat the Odds Scholarship Awards & Fundraising Luncheon. Our class of 2018 hails from Grants Pass High School, Rogue River High School, and Sunset High School:
Vincent Washington, Grants Pass
When involvement in the Las Vegas drug scene threatened their safety at home, Vincent’s family moved from hotel to hotel, and eventually spent months living at a campground. After settling in Grants Pass, Vincent enrolled in Grants Pass High School, joined the wrestling team, and found a mentor in his coach and counselor, Ben Coulter. Learn how the remarkable bond these two forged helped Vincent take control of his own future, and pursue his dreams of higher education.
Autumn Cogdill, Rogue River High School
Autumn grew up missing the one thing kids need most—strong role models. Her mother struggled with addiction; her father was never involved in her life; and her stepfather was physically abusive. By the time she was seven years old, Autumn was getting herself up for school in the mornings, and feeding and bathing her younger sister every afternoon. After finding her stepfather unresponsive from a drug overdose, Autumn moved in with her grandparents and began rebuilding her life. School became a refuge—a place to realize her full potential.
Calum Nguyen, sunset high school
Calum lost his mother to medical complications when he was five. The family relocated from their native Vietnam to the United States when he was 14. Calum adjusted to life quickly at Sunset High School, but his father suffered from severe culture shock and returned to Vietnam. Calum became the sole provider for himself and his sister, and despite working two full-time jobs, the bills stacked up. By the end of freshman year, Calum had suicidal thoughts. After confiding in a school counselor, he was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Sunset High School staff weren’t just there for Calum in a moment of urgency—they became the mentors he desperately needed.
Alex Goodwin, South Eugene High school
Throughout his life, Alex’s family struggled financially. His father, who suffered from depression and alcoholism, was often out of work. When Alex entered high school, academics became his oasis away from the troubles at home — he dove head-first into his AVID class (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and prepared for college. Those plans changed early into sophomore year though, when the unthinkable happened: Alex’s family lost their home, and on that very same day, Alex’s father passed away. Reeling from grief and forced to live in a youth shelter with his brother while their mother scrambled for a home, Alex defied all odds by keeping his grades up. The South Eugene High School community, and particularly his AVID teacher and classmates, gave Alex the support he needed to carry on. Now he’s just months away from starting at the University of Oregon honors college this fall, and wants to someday help young people through difficult times, just as others did for him.
These students defied the odds, but Stand for Children Oregon’s end goal is to change the odds so that all children, regardless of their background, can graduate from high school prepared for college or career training.