2017-18 Sister Adele Scholarship Cohort

2017-18 Sister Adele Scholarship Cohort

CASA is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017-18 Sister Adele Scholarship! Our cohort is comprised of 19 students, who are pursuing careers across the fields of healthcare, law, engineering, business, and education. 
This year, recipients will complete a Service Project within their communities that inspires fellow students from farmworker families to pursue higher education and/or vocational training.
We invite you to learn more about the 2017-18 cohort through their biographies, educational goals, and service projects. 


Antonio Hernández Caballero

My name is Antonio Hernández Caballero. I am a Mexican twenty years old who, at sixteen, migrated to the United States. I had the mindset of working to make money for my family, but my mother's brother enrolled me in high school. After a couple of years as became familiar with the college process, I began studying harder. So, I would be able to go to a good college and win scholarships.

I will start college at George Fox University on August 27 of 2017. I plan to study Finance or another type of business degree, and with the career find a good job. So, I can help my family and myself financially. After years of working, I will try to save money to open a business and help my community.

Service Project
My proposal was to advertise my assistance to farming families. I will make posters and post them at my job, so families with farmers can call me and get information regarding the Sister Adele's scholarship. Also, other sources of assistance like the Pell Grant and Oregon Promise Grant will be advertised to make families aware of the help put there. I will, also, hand out a list to future applicants with the necessary things to apply for scholarships. Finally,  will hope to talk to as many people as possible about my experience through the college and scholarship process.
 Essence Contreras  
My name is Essence Contreras and the following is a little bit of information about me. I graduated from Early College High School and was accepted in to University of Portland’s School of Nursing. I plan on being involved with campus ministry, volunteer work, and study abroad programs. A passion of mine is serving others either through various organizations or within the walls of my own home. I especially enjoy helping my older sister with her two babies. I began volunteering at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in 2014. I am now in the leadership team and am also an on-call volunteer. I also volunteer for Catholic Community Services, Oregon Right to Life, Salem Health, and the YMCA.
My career aspiration is to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. The first step towards reaching that goal is graduating University of Portland as a registered nurse with my bachelors in nursing. I will work as an RN for two years to get experience. With this experience I will apply to the nurse practitioner program at Oregon Health and Science University, where I will graduate as a neonatal nurse practitioner. 
Service Project
The goal of my project is to inform, encourage, motivate, and inspire students from farmworker families to pursue a career in nursing. With my 
project, they will be equipped with the information they need to pursue nursing if they feel moved and driven to do so. My target population is high school students that take part in FHDC’s and the CLI’s after school programs in Woodburn. Educating them about nursing as a career will open a door for them that they might have never realized was there before. With my project, they will know what nursing is, what the next steps after high school are to apply to nursing school, and the support available for them to pursue their nursing career. Because I am currently going through this process myself, I know that if I would have been exposed to this information early on, the process would have been easier. 
  Estefanía Ramos Torres
My name is Estefanía Ramos Torres, and I consider the beautiful state of Michoacán, México and Salem, Oregon my two homes. I am the oldest daughter in a family of six and my hardworking and caring parents are agricultural workers. I graduated from North Salem High School a year ago, and I will now become a 2nd year pre-med student at Willamette University in the fall with a major in Exercise Science and a triple minor in chemistry, biology, and Spanish. While in school, I work as a caregiver at the Willson House in which I take care of physical and cognitive impaired older adults. In the summer, I devote my energy as a research assistant; I am currently working with a professor in biomedical research within the areas of biomechanics and gerontology.

I aspire to obtain a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and a Masters in Public Health (M.P.H.) degrees. My career goal is to specialize as a pediatric cardiologist and work with children with congenital heart defects. Furthermore, as a bilingual physician, I want to focus in working with underrepresented communities in healthcare. I am interested in working with farm-working families in need by providing them with proper medical assistance and care.

Service Project 

My Service Project Proposal is to organize a free bilingual health fair in which my goal is to expose health resources for Spanish speaking and low income families in my community. By having bilingual medical resources, a nutrition and exercise class, and free medical exams, I hope for Spanish speaking and low income families to gain knowledge in the health resources our community has, and be more aware of their health needs and of the preventative measures they can be taking now in order to live a healthy life. As part of motivating students from farm working families to continue in their education and to help promote the Sister Adele Scholarship, I plan to have a scholarship workshop for the students. I furthermore, plan to go in my community’s high schools to promote the health fair and ask for bilingual students to volunteer and be part of this project.

   Rodrigo Fernandez-Ortega    
My name is Rodrigo Fernandez-Ortega and I’m a first generation, second year student at Oregon State University. My parents are from Jalisco  and Zacatecas Mexico. I have three younger sisters. I was born in Hood River, and I graduated from Hood River Valley High School. Growing  up, I played a lot of soccer and worked in the fields with my family in the summers. I still enjoy playing soccer, as well as listening to music,  playing billiards, and keeping up with the news.

 I’m majoring in Political Science, and minoring in Spanish and Business. Once I’ve completed my major, I want to attend Sandra Day O’Connor  College of Law at Arizona State University and become an Immigration Attorney. I chose this career because while I was growing up, I noticed  there were a lot of families in my community with immigration issues. My goal is to be able to help families with their immigration issues in  smaller communities.

 Service Project
 My project is to create a flier or brochure with information about immigration and immigrant rights. I want to update the community with  information about laws and reforms such as DACA and the Dream Act. It will include quotes and pieces from articles of unbiased sources. I  want this to be factual and informative rather than opinionated. I’m going to make it in both Spanish and English. In addition, I would like to  make this project more than a one-time thing. As new immigration events occur, I would like to update the flyer/brochure.


  Karina Ruiz Lopez

My name is Kari na Ruiz Lopez. I’m the daughter of Jorge Ruiz Vasquez and Eloisa Lopez De Ruiz. I was born in Mexico, but grew up in Harrisburg, OR since I was 7 years old. I graduated from Harrisburg High School. My hobbies include biking, watching movies, and traveling.

I am studying public health with an option in health management and policy at Oregon State University. My career aspirations are to obtain a master’s in healthcare administration. I am passionate about health and well-being and desire to make a difference in the healthcare setting.

Service Project

I value service. Being involved in one’s community is beneficial in many different forms. I want to coordinate a service project for the 2016-17 College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) cohort at OSU to participate in, and learn about why and how they can become involved during college and beyond.

Marta Gamez

Marta Gamez is from The Dalles, Oregon, where her family has actively worked in agriculture for the past 30 years. Marta is excited to be entering her junior year at Seattle University studying Strategic Communications and minoring in Public Affairs. She is committed to her involvement in programs geared to serve students of color on and off campus. She is heavily involved with the MEChA chapter on campus, is a Student Ambassador for Seattle University’s Center for Community Engagement, and is the Vice President of External Affairs on SU’s Residence Hall Association. Marta keeps her family’s story close to her heart, and acknowledges that she is the product of her parents’ hard work and knows that their educational dreams are being realized through her.  With this in mind, Marta aspires to continue advocating for the Latino community in higher education and thanks those that have come before her — as their sacrifices, hard work, and determination have allowed her to stand where she does today.

I am pursuing an educational path at Seattle University with the intent to serve with a non-profit community organization seeking to advocate for college access and success. I am currently pursuing a degree in Strategic Communications and a minor in Public affairs with an emphasis on Nonprofit and Public Administration. I hope to continue advocating for college access and success in the Latino community and merge my passion for student development and Public Relations through engagement in specific communication goals that focus on public advocacy. As I continue to advance in classes that converge public relations with reputation management and public administration/policy, I will be more prepared to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. This specific educational path I have chosen will allow me to explore diverse perspectives and apply problem-solving skills to analyze and address real-world social problems.

Service Project

The Building Connections: Construyendo Conexiones project is an effort to bridge the achievement gap present for our community of Latino scholars. My project will provide the necessary tools for our farm-working, Latino population in The Dalles to gain interest and confidence in establishing a well-rooted foundation for the construction of their educational journeys. This project will focus on providing students with relevant examples of success in higher education by focusing on student narratives that can identify with the farm-working experiences and struggles as well as our intersecting identities in the Latino community. 

This student run workshop will help our students in the community build connections with our student volunteers who represent various universities across the state and the nation. Our volunteers are asked to share their experiences and gained insight in hopes to inspire our high school students to pursue post secondary education. The workshops will offer information in six areas of focus: Career explorations, College search, Personal Statements, FAFSA, Scholarship application process, and resources on college campuses.

Mayra Liliana Juarez

 Hello! My name is Mayra Liliana Juarez, I am 18 years old and was born and raised in Ontario Oregon. I love listening to music, traveling  around the world, and watching documentaries.My parents both came from Mexico in the late 90s and have both made a living here ever since.  I am a proud Latina who will be one of the first in my family who will attend a University and pursue a higher education.

 I plan to attend Oregon State University and earn my bachelors degree in whatever major I plan to pursue, which will either be biology or  public health. After I earn my bachelor's degree, I will move forward and attend medical school and become a Surgeon or Dermatologist. From  there on I will be an Intern in the hospital then become a Resident and finally make it to an Attendee. Along the way to reaching my goal I will  apply to multiple internships and apply to jobs to help me pay along the way.

Service Project 
My service project is going to be an event where multiple resources will be set up and shown to help raise awareness to Latino families, others are more than welcomed to attend. But mainly to latino families to let them know there is classes such as earning their GED or simply helping them learn and understand the English Language. This will let them be aware or the resources they have within their community and help them advance with their education.


Ignacio Antonio Garcia Reyes

My name is Ignacio Antonio Garcia Reyes and I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico in a place called Barranca Fierro.  I was brought to the US when I only was three and half.  Around middle school I started working in the fields picking berries in the summer, when I finally turned 16 I was able to qualify for DACA and legally work.  Even with a high risk of having depression and anxiety, I still managed to graduate from high school with a 3.77 GPA and got accepted into five schools.  Since I am unable to qualify for FAFSA or get any loans my dreams were crushed.  It was still too much money even with two private scholarships.  Currently I am attending Portland Community college, I am a MEChA coordinator, Equity Promoter for the Multicultural center, and a mentor for the Dream Project.   

Once I obtain a transfer degree from Portland Community College, my dream would be to attend Stanford University and get a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering.  If that falls through I would still try to get into the schools that I was not financially able to attend, for example Marquette University.     

Service Project
My proposal is to create a “Dream Project” a mentoring program for undocumented students in my campus, the PCC Southeast campus.  Currently there is one in the PCC Rock Creek campus but it’s in the outskirts of town, out of reach for many students.  The dream project would provide students with an environment of students alike, as well as with resources and opportunities.  Most importantly it will provide them with financial support.  The goal is to help students like me, who need that extra push, or money so they know that their is people who believe in them and want to help.  Being undocumented is extremely challenging especially now, but being surrounded by other undocumented students, and just listening to their stories is comforting.  Showing them that whatever their dreams is, that it's possible is something money can't buy.        


Monica Cerda Ortiz

At the age of six, my life took an unexpected turn when my parents migrated to the United States. I was forced to adapt to a new culture, and at the time, I had no idea this drastic event would ultimately benefit and shape who I am today. New barriers and situations constantly arose helping me to grow and learn in the process. My parents worked arduously in multiple jobs that were unstable or seasonal.With my education, I hope to become a strong leader and advocate for post-secondary education in my community.
I am an incoming sophomore at Western Oregon University this fall, and I am pursuing a high school Spanish education major with an ESOL endorsement. Throughout college, I hope to continue strengthening my leadership and communication skills.I will also continue to challenge myself in different ways such as being involved in leadership positions, internships, and meeting new people.
Service Project
The purpose of my service project is to coordinate an informational event for students from farm working families about the opportunities and resources  to successfully graduate college. In addition, I will promote the Sister Adele Scholarship by partnering up with student led clubs and organizations in my university to co host this event. I will have a wide variety of information for students that attend this event such as information about campus resources, programs that support first generation students, and present a pre-recorded video about working in Agriculture.



Janeth Nunez

My name is Edith Janeth Nunez Castro. I'm from León, Gto.Mexico. This year I had graduated from Woodburn High School and my next step is going to be start my first term at Chemeketa Community College. I'm going to study nursing because I really want to help people.

Service Project
My proposal project would be a section of explain how this scholarship help people who really want to continued follow their dreams. I want to inspire those youngs that really want to continue in the way of the success and that they think that is impossible conclude their dreams because they sometimes believe that there aren't who can support them because we sometimes not have enough money to pay our education; however, I want to make that those discovered that there are awesome foundations specially Adele Scholarship that really want to support us with follow our dreams.

My goals during this project is achieved with successful that the students of this community learn that be a farmer worker is a hard work. As well as the same reason, I would like that those student would understand that is more heavy take a shovel that pick up a pencil. I also would like to bring them to look how some of those farmworkers not only as our parents, but also, youngs as us are there working so hard because they one time believed that there were not opportunities to study or just because they couldn't have the same opportunities like us. I believe that I will work with a group from woodburn high school calls language indigenous to inspire all student for the community of the Woodburn District to continue studying and promove between them this huge opportunity that Adele Scholarship is giving us for build that future that we want. Sometimes I was involve with this group, even I wasn't part of it, I know that there are a lot of kids there that will graduate next year and that a lot of their parents work in a farmer.

Anna Blancas

I am a first-generation Chicana and daughter of two hardworking immigrants. As many other Mexican immigrants, my parents sought for the American Dream. Both immigrated from Texcoco, which is a city located northeast of Mexico City, during the early 90’s and settled in Corvallis, Oregon. A few years later, my siblings and would be born and each of my parents would become a part of each one of our successes. From an early age, my parents have always expressed the importance of achieving a high school diploma and continuing into post-secondary education. As a member of my high school’s class of 2016, I was able to make that dream come true and continue my education at the University of Oregon. This Fall I will be a sophomore at the UO studying Political Science and Spanish, and continue my journey as a Duck through the next few years.

After my undergraduate degree, I will continue my education to achieve a Master’s degree so I can pursue a career as a Policy Analyst. As a Policy Analyst, I will expand educational and professional opportunities for migrant families, as well as open doors to career opportunities to more young Chicana women like myself. I want others to have the same opportunity as me to participate in new and exciting journeys around the world that will allow them to expand their knowledge of diverse cultures that surround them.

Service Project

For my service project, I will create a workshop for high school students. This workshop will guide students through the process of applying to college, as well as getting tips on seeking financial aid. As costs of post-secondary education continue to increase each year, it is important for students to learn the steps through the financial aid process. This process is especially important for first-generations students that come from farmworker families because their parents might not be able to cover educational costs. For this reason, my targeted audience is those students who are getting ready to graduate high school and are seeking advice and college information from current college students. Students and parents will get a list of scholarships and outside resources to help them get started with this process, and will leave the workshop with the necessary tools to take the next steps of applying to colleges.

 Brenda Tellez

Hello! My name is Brenda Tellez. I am 20 years of age, and am from Hillsboro, OR. I am first generation Mexican-American. I am the third of 6 daughters. I am also the third to attend a university and am about to enter my third year of college at Oregon State University. I am excited as I will be joined by my sister this upcoming academic year at OSU. I am studying Kinesiology in hopes to become a physical therapist one day. It took me a couple of major changes to finally find the one for me, and so far my experiences with this major have been very rewarding! As a PT, I hope to create greater access to physical therapy of families and kids of low income and minority backgrounds.

One of my educational goals is to become knowledgeable and confident enough to help others see their potential for successful in life. I have grown to appreciate those who have been there for me and slowly, I have been trying to be there for others. I believe that unity within a small community is what helps everyone strive. Through unity comes encouragement, and sometimes encouragement is all someone needs to become successful. Through education and dedication, my goal is to become a leader who creates other leaders.

Service Project

My service project has to do with bringing educational programs from Oregon State University to Hillsboro migrant families. With many families of migrant backgrounds in Hillsboro, I see an opportunity to bring programs, clubs, and people that have helped me strive while being here at OSU to this city through an event. The goal of this event is to help families and students to see the educational opportunities out there for them. As someone who did not know about these opportunities before starting my college education, it would have been very encouraging to know of the support out there for me. The path of receiving a college degree can be a challenging experience and one thing I have learned along the way is that there is so much help out there to help me accomplish my goals. Through this event, I will bring different programs, clubs, and people from OSU to show migrant families and students of Hillsboro that they can also receive a college education.

  Manuel Larrea 

I was born and raised in Lima, Peru. Moving to the United States was a big change for my family and I. I have a twin and a little sister. In Peru, my family had a comfortable life. We moved to the United States because we wanted a better future. Our goal was to take advantage of all the opportunities offered here. Learning English wasn't easy. It took me a lot of hard work and determination to overcome this challenge. I came here to study the second semester of my freshman year. I didn't know anyone. School was hard because I couldn't understand what the teachers were saying. I learned English faster than expected and worked hard to obtain an honors diploma. I am going to attend Linfield College this fall to study chemistry and pre-med.

The major I am thinking about pursuing chemistry with the medical school requirements completed. I also really like science. It is the one thing I enjoy the most to study and learn. After completing my bachelors degree I will apply to medical school to be a surgeon. Being a general surgeon is the expected educational goal I want to achieve.

Service Project
The service proposal I will do is called "Possibilities after High School."  It will be about guiding seniors on how to fill out a good college application. I will also talk about my experience in the process and give them tips on what to do and what not to do to feel less overwhelmed in the process. The goal of my project is for every student to complete at least one full college application.

Brenda Yisel-Nunez 

My name is Brenda Yisel Nunez, I have recently graduated from Ontario High School. I am the first person in my family to have received a high school diploma and also pursue my dreams of attending a university of my choice. I am very outgoing and enjoy any opportunity to be challenged to serve as a learning experience. Regardless of the challenges I have faced and the sacrifices that have had to be made, I am grateful of the person I have become. Because of my experiences, I am now very opened minded about certain situations, and I am a strong believer that, when pursuing our dreams, we must set goals that scare and excite us at the same time. I’ve learned that although the road to success may be bumpy and often difficult, in the long run it will lead to a beautiful destination.
I have recently been accepted to Oregon State University, where I plan to major in Biochemistry this upcoming fall. After graduating Oregon State University and obtaining a bachelor's degree in science, I plan to transfer to Oregon Health & Science University, where I will fulfilling my dreams and continue challenging myself while working with children who need close monitoring.
Service Project
My service project will be great opportunity to inspire other students like myself from farm working families to help pursue a higher education. For my service project proposal, I have many ideas in mind, such as helping migrant students and answering questions regarding high school credits, universities, scholarships, and much more. I plan to help students with applying to the college of their choice and informing them about available fee waivers, and also inform them about SAT/ACT test and scores. I hope to help as many migrant students from Ontario, Oregon and also Corvallis, Oregon.



  Guadalupe Ramirez Ramos
I am Guadalupe Ramirez Ramos and I was born in Salem, Oregon. When I turned one my parents took me to Michoacan, Mexico their native home place. We remained in Michoacan for most of my childhood. Once I turned eight  my parents decided it was time to bring my brother and I back to Oregon to receive an education, employment, and to be together as a family. I just graduated from West Salem High School and in the fall of 2017 I will be attending Linfield College.   

While at Linfield college, I plan to be a part of the Pre-Medicine Program. In addition, I plan on majoring in either Exercise Science or Biology. Although I am confident in my career path, I am open to exploration in other areas of the Medical Field. I would also like to minor in Spanish.

Service Project

My Service project will consist of creating study centers in different neighborhoods where families in need reside, starting in Salem. We will then find quiet and comfortable locations that would be willing to host about 2-3 students. The group of two or three students will be supervised by a mentor that will meet with them 2 or 3 times per week for about 4 hours to work on homework, goal setting, and effective studying. The mentor needs to be willing to provide transportation for the students assigned. After a significant achievement is made during the semester, students will take part in a fun field trip with their parents to meet a new part of the State. Before starting the project, funds will be necessary for snacks, computers, and other materials although it will be mostly volunteer work. The funds will be provided by grants and donations.


Estela Fuentes

I am Estela Fuentes an 18 year old from Hermiston, Oregon. I graduated last year from Hermiston High School with honors and I recently just finished my first year of college. I attended Blue Mountain Community College and plan to attend this coming fall as well.  I am currently employed at McDonald's and live at home with my younger brother and parents.
As for my educational goals, I plan on becoming a dental hygienist. I am working on completing my prerequisites here at BMCC in order to be able to apply for dental school. I just finished my first year and will be starting my last year in the fall. I then would like to apply to either Lane Community College or Mount Hood Community College as they both have dental hygiene programs.
Service Project 
For my service project proposal I plan to revisit my high school and provide students with information about this wonderful scholarship opportunity. I recall having no information or knowledge about this scholarship when I was in high school. I plan to give both parents and students information about this scholarship So they can apply in the future for it. I plan to be available at the school during scholarship week as well as during scholarship nights. This will help hopefully provide alot of information to both the parents and students who both work in agriculture.

 Ernesto Hernandez

I was born and raised in Mexico in a family of five. I moved to the United States when I was twelve years old and quickly learned the language by watching TV in English and making flashcards. After I started getting a good grasp of the language I started challenging myself by taking Honors and AP classes. Learning English has also allowed me to start getting involved in school activities, clubs, and sports. One of my biggest accomplishments comes from joining Skills USA. Through this program I was able to compete at a Cabinet Making competition where I earned first place in state and tenth place nationally. My parents emphasize the importance of being a humble and respectful man. They work as much as possible to be able to help with my education and my brothers’. Their hard work motivates me to earn a college degree.

My career plan is to earn a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon Institute of Technology, both universities offer a great Civil Engineering program. I plan on getting into an internship during college to strengthen my abilities as a future engineer. Being able to design structures that stay in people’s minds that also allow them to go through their daily routine with greater ease inspires me to pursue this path. My goal is to help people, but at the same time I want to make sure that the area they are in makes their activities more enjoyable.

Service Project
I have been volunteering as a mentor at the Bulldogs to Raiders afterschool program at McLoughlin Middle School where students can seek help on their homework or other struggles that they may have at school. The vast majority of these students are migrant students that mainly come from a family of farm or seasonal workers. I would like to prepare a few presentations throughout my freshman year at college and show them the transition and the steps I took. I am positive that sharing my background and personal story with them will allow them to connect and hopefully identify themselves with me. This is a great way to show these students that someone with a similar background as them can achieve a higher education and be successful. 

Maricruz Arias
My name is Maricruz Arias. I am 20 years old. I was born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico. I am currently living in Woodburn, OR. 
I just finished my second year of college at George Fox University pursuing my Exercise Science Bachelors Degree. My goal is to become a Chiropractor and help those farmworkers who are physically injured because of work. I am incredibly thankful for my family for always being there and supporting me.
Service Project 
My service project is focused on helping Newberg High School students (juniors & seniors) fill out scholarship applications as well as college applications. I want to be able to encourage them, especially those from farmworker families, to continue with their education and to follow their dreams. 
Not pictured: Wyatt Paschal of Hermiston, Oregon