Scholarships for six grads provided by Parkrose business folks

Discover why members of the Parkrose Business Association have upped their awards to $2,000 each! And read on, to meet this year’s Parkrose High Scholars …

The meeting room fills, as the Parkrose Business Association members gather for the annual Scholarship Awards luncheon.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When members and guests of the Parkrose Business Association (PBA) met on June 20, their meeting focused on announcing and welcoming the 2013 Parkrose High School Scholars.

> Read about the unique scholarship “un-auction”
that the PBA held earlier this year: CLICK HERE.

Guests queue up in the buffet line, as luncheon is served.

Again, the staff of the Holiday Inn Airport provided a delicious hot buffet luncheon to the PBA, in their favorite room at the hotel – the newly-remodeled Garden Room.

Wayne Stoll, of Argay Square, welcomes the crowd to the monthly meeting.

Standing in for the PBA President and Vice President, both of whom were unable to attend, was their genial and jovial Past President, Wayne Stoll.

After the Pledge of Allegiance and self-introductions, Stoll spoke about the organization’s dedication to awarding scholarships to Parkrose High graduates.

Addressing this year’s six scholars, Stoll began, “This year’s funds came through the help of everyone in this group, who stepped up and donated money from their businesses, and from their personal pockets.

“What we have to do, over the years, is be good stewards of the money, and keep these scholarships going for the next group of kids graduating from Parkrose High School.”
Stoll continued, “We want to give you, our scholars, the funds to help you further your education. Because we realize costs are rising, this year’s scholarships are in the amount of $2,000 each!”

Before a sold-out group, the 2013 Parkrose Scholars are introduced.

This year’s PBA Scholarship Committee Chair, Judy Kennedy, with Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union, came to the podium.

“Thank you Wayne, for talking about what goes into this program,” Kennedy began. “I’m sure each one of these kids here today appreciates all the work that goes into this.”

With that, she asked committee members Bob Brown, Mary Brown, Marsha Lee Grabinger, Alison Stoll, Bob Roberts, and Karen Taylor, to join her at the front of the room.

“Among the seven of us, we looked at the applications of – and spoke with – 36 applicants,” Kennedy said. “Out of those 36, we have chosen our six scholars. It was a difficult choice. In fact, this was one of the hardest years ever, to choose among them, because they were all excellent applicants.

“I say ‘thank you’ to the Parkrose School District for helping our students, and our future, be brighter. These kids are our future, and worth investing in.”

2013 PBA Scholar Mario Zivanovic

2013 PBA Scholar Mario Zivanovic receives his plaque and check for $2,000 from Judy Kennedy of Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union.

Mario Zivanovic was presented by Judy Kennedy.

“Mario will be attending Oregon State University. He is preparing to go into pharmacy, and will be taking pre-pharmacy. He was ranked eighth out of 255 students in his class in grades. He accumulated a 3.9 GPA over his four years going to the school!”

“I really tried, but I just couldn’t get the 4.0,” Mario quipped.

This scholar participated in the school’s Advanced Placement (AP) classes, providing him with college credits. “He also enjoys music; he loves playing the guitar, and has been a member of Parkrose High’s specialty choir, the Debonaires, for three years. He won the ‘Battle of the Bands’ in 2011, has won several State music awards, and has influenced many people with his music.

“Mario, I do have a hard time saying your name, ‘Zi-van-a-ovic’ but we all believe you’ll easily do well in the future. We congratulate you.”

2013 PBA Scholar Dawn Parson

2013 PBA Scholar Dawn Parson receives her plaque and check from Marsha Lee Grabinger.

“With all the questions we ask of applicants,” began the next presenter, Marsha Lee Grabinger, “it could’ve been intimidating a little bit, perhaps a little daunting; but you wouldn’t have known that by looking at Dawn Parsons during our interviews. She won me over within just a few words – with her vivacious personality, her quick wit, and her sense of humor.”

This Parkrose Scholar will attend Linfield College to earn a degree in business. “After she graduates, she says she’ll get a job in a restaurant, work her way up to manager – and ultimately own and operate a restaurant of her own, with her twin sister – who is also a Parkrose Scholar this year.”

As Grabinger presented the new grad with her $2,000 check from the PBA’s 501c3 nonprofit arm, the Parkrose Business Foundation, she said, “Please take this plaque and put it in a prominent place in your room so you can see it every day. As you face the ups and downs of college, and life in general – look at it. It will remind you of this whole roomful of people here, who have faith in you. We look forward to visiting your restaurant one of these days!”

2013 PBA Scholar Brandon Cha

2013 PBA Scholar Brandon Cha receives his honor from Bob Brown, of Bob Brown Tire Center.

Presenter Bob Brown said that Brandon Cha, the Parkrose Scholar he was introducing, has had a “very active” high school experience.

In addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Cha participated in numerous projects and programs.

“He’s been involved in the Portland Trees Project. His Senior Project, along with another student, was ‘Adopt a Grandparent’.  He said it gave him a whole different perspective on, well, older people.

“He’s been involved in the St. Rita’s Catholic Church Community Dinner, and a lot of other things,” Brown said.

“Brandon is going into the pharmacy program at Oregon State University.  I think you’ll make a good pharmacist – and it’s a good field.

“Brandon will be very successful; he is a very focused young man. So, congratulations,” Brown said, as he presented the scholar his check and plaque.

2013 PBA Scholar Tiffany Parson

Mary Brown of Bob Brown Tire Center honors 2013 PBA Scholar Tiffany Parson.

Scholarship Committee member Mary Brown pointed out that her scholar, Tiffany Parson, is the twin sister of Dawn, another of the group’s scholars this year. “So perfect twins are they, they’re called ‘mirror twins’ – even their fingerprints are the same!

Brown said that this scholar has challenged herself by maintaining a very high GPA, even while taking AP classes. She is in the German National Honors Society.

“Tiffany has also been in the ‘Parkrose Thespians Troupe’, involved in drama. For a Senior Project she enlisted the aid of others to clean up a courtyard between buildings, and built a pathway. Doing this helped her learn time management, how to work with others, and how to be flexible.”

This scholar will also attend Linfield College and study business management. “As we learned, the sisters hope to one day open their own restaurant. Hopefully, it will be located close enough that we will all be able to dine there,” Brown said.

2013 PBA Scholar Jaime Paredes-Torres

2013 PBA Scholar Jaime Paredes-Torres receives her funds and plaque from Bob Roberts from “Baskets and Bouquets”.

“I have the honor of calling up Jaime Paredes-Torres,” announced Bob Roberts. “This guy is a number one person in so many ways. H’’s the first son in his family – the first and only son – to graduate from high school. He will be the first to be going to college. And, he is almost the first in his class of 245 students in grades!

“His GPA is actually 4.096. Yes, one can get higher than a 4.0, and he did it!” Roberts said. “He was highly recommended by his English Department teacher; she said she was awestruck by his dedication to constant improvement.”

Paredes-Torres hopes to be a computer engineer, and Whitman College is choice. “He is participating in SWAG: ‘Students Working to Achieve Greatness’, doing a lot of community service work.

“He is a number-one scholarship candidate, and we’re glad to have a presentation to him for a plaque and a check for $2,000,” Roberst concluded.

2013 PBA Scholar Jeniffer Barrientos

2013 PBA Scholar Jeniffer Barrientos is honored by Alison Stoll of Central Northeast Neighbors.

“I have the pleasure today at introducing Jeniffer,” announced Alison Stoll.

“Asked where she wanted to wind up, after she graduates, guess which he said? Parkrose! She wants to be a physical therapist, and coach at Parkrose High School.”

“Oh wow, that’s really great!” exclaimed Parkrose School District Superintendent Dr. Karen Fisher Gray.

Stoll continued, “She’s a great student, and has been involved a lot of activities, and has a personality that is just so bubbly when she comes in the room that she makes you smile.

“Jeniffer Barrientos will be attending Portland State University. So, she’ll stay here in the area,” Stoll added. “We will probably see her, if she can be a volunteer coach during her schooling. We present you with this plaque, as well as your scholarship check.”

Standing amid members of the PBA Scholarship Committee, Parkrose School District Superintendent Dr. Karen Fisher Gray accepts the Parkrose High “perpetual plaque” – which now has six new names added to it.

Accepting the perpetual plaque, on which is inscribed the names of all Parkrose Scholars, Dr. Karen Fischer Gray addressed the group. “I wanted to say ‘thank you so much’ to the Parkrose Business Association, for your amazing generosity to the students of the Parkrose School District.

“Students, congratulations to each and every one of you,” Gray continued. “I’m glad I had the chance to shake your hands when you walked across the stage at graduation.”

Giving them two more items he considers “school necessities”, Wayne Stoll presents each of the scholars boxes of macaroni and cheese, and a giant size candy bars.

Honor Roll of Contributors
2013 Parkrose Business Foundation Scholarship Fund

Allied Waste ~ Argay Square ~ Columbia Bank
Compaction  Recycling Equip. ~ Dalibor Simlesa
Davey Tree & Expert Co. ~ Debbie Codino
East Portland News ~ Historic Parkrose
Hookset Automotive ~ Jackpot; Gail Bash
Jason Zwick State Farm Agent ~ Jose Pinomesa, Mesa Auto Wholesale
Key Bank ~ Leadership Works ~ Loretta Stites
Marsha Lee Grabinger ~ Mary Brown ~ Mary Kay Distributor Karen Taylor
Mark Eves, Atty ~ Oregon Physical Therapy
Pacific NW Federal Credit Union ~ Parkrose Business Association
Parkrose School District ~ Portland Disposal & Recycling
Sundeleaf Painting ~ US Bank

The Parkrose Business Association meets again at 11:30 a.m. on July 18.

Come and meet this group of fun, energized businesspeople. Their meeting is held in outer East Portland at the Holiday Inn Airport, 8439 NE Columbia Boulevard (in the hotel building, around the back at the Flirt’s entrance – not the Convention Center next door).

The meeting is free, and the buffet lunch is $17, including dessert and gratuity; reservations are NOT required.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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