Parkrose business people award five scholarships

Discover which organization helped five Parkrose High School seniors to continue their education, each with a $2,000 check …

At this gathering of the Parkrose Business Association, five outer East Portland scholars dine with their benefactors.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It was a joyous occasion when about 25 members and guests of the Parkrose Business Association (PBA) met at the Holiday Inn Airport for their June 15 meeting, to present their 2017 “Parkrose Scholars”.

The five PBA Scholars, along with family members, were invited to enjoy the catered luncheon, along with members of the organization.

It was difficult to select only five students from among the applicants, says PBA/PBF Scholarship presentation Master of Ceremonies Wayne Stoll.

After self-introductions, Wayne Stoll announced that the PBA, through the Parkrose Business Foundation (PBF), were presenting five Parkrose High School students each a check for $2,000, and a plaque commemorating their achievements.

Selecting the five students, from a field of 41 applicants, was challenging. “All of this year’s applicants were outstanding, making it difficult to choose only five from all of the worthy students,” Stoll told the group.

The first Parkrose Scholar introduction was prefaced by Karen Taylor. “This is the ‘Jonathan Taylor Memorial Scholarship’, given in memory of our son,” she said. “Our family is honored by the gesture of generosity to support this scholarship in his name.

Karen Taylor presents the Jonathan Taylor Memorial Scholarship award to Thomas Grant.

“Born and raised in Parkrose, Thomas Grant has been exposed to individuals from all walks of life: diversity has always been his reality,” Taylor said. “Grant has been involved in many sports, choir, and school government reaching high levels of responsibility.

He plans to attend Portland Community College to begin studies in Education/Politics,” Taylor affirmed

Marsha Grabinger presents PBA Scholarship award to Genevieve Church.

Introducing the next Parkrose Scholar, Marsha Grabinger called from the audience Genevieve Church.

“Genevieve has learned to be strong, positive, committed, and faithful from her relatives, who suffered persecution under communist rule for many years in Romania, before obtaining visas to come to America,” Grabinger said.

“Along with volunteering with Pacific Camps, and tackling a full class schedule, she’s earned an impressive weighted GPA of 4.133,” continued Grabinger. “She plans to attend Portland Community College to begin studies in Sociology and Public Policy.”

Alison Stoll introduces Parkrose Scholar Nestor Perez.

The next Parkrose Scholar, introduced by Alison Stoll, had been an inspirational student, she said. “Since his elementary school career at Russell Academy, where he was chosen by his teachers to be honored by the Parkrose Masonic Lodge #179 at its ‘Parkrose Educational Awards’ throughout his high school career, Nestor Perez has excelled, both in his studies, and as a Parkrose Broncos track star.”

Perez plans to attend Portland State University, to begin studies in Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, and Criminal Justice.

Michael Taylor presents to Parkrose Scholar David Kuzemenko his award, and check.

“David Kuzemenko is a first-generation American from Ukrainian immigrants, and cherishes the American values of freedom and justice,” began presenter Michael Taylor. “Ranking first in his class of 244, with a weighted GPA of 4.313, does not fully describe his quest for knowledge, understanding, and creativity. Kuzemenko also worked with a friend to develop a commercial drone consulting company.

“David plans to attend the University of Portland, to begin studies in Computer Science, with a minor in Business/Economics,” Taylor concluded.

Wayne Stoll introduces Parkrose Scholar LaMarra Luster.

“LaMarra Luster has endured an amazing amount of suffering in many ways throughout her life up till now, which could have led to a life full of failures and poor decisions, but not LaMarra,” said presenter Wayne Stoll.

“She has excelled though all the challenges that could predict otherwise,” Stoll went on. “Throughout her high school career, although LaMarra has had inconsistent living situations, she still managed to keep a 3.8 GPA. She plans to attend Portland State University.”

As anticipated, Wayne Stoll gave “helpful advice about technology” – in this case, a manual typewriter – to the new group of Parkrose Scholars.

This year, Stoll educated the scholars on “modern technology” that would help their educational careers by introducing them to items that helped him in college: A manual typewriter, a slide rule, and a phonograph! He also provided a gifts of more practical value – Subway sandwich gift cards.

Through the generosity of the PBA membership, PBA/PBF has awarded scholarships to deserving Parkrose High seniors each year since 1998, totaling nearly $100,000.

Congratulations to the 2017 Parkrose Scholars. Thomas Grant, David Kuzemenko, Nestor Perez, Genevieve Church, and LaMarra Luster.

Find out more about the PBA at their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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