Lewis and Clark College
How did Far West Fibers get involved in supporting a scholarship program at Lewis and Clark College?
One of our goals at Far West Fibers is to make a positive community impact. We can achieve this objective by becoming involved in our educational system. We need college graduates who are talented, highly skilled and informed people who may one day lead and support our community and become our employees. We are very fortunate at Far West Fibers to have well trained and educated employees. In particular, we are appreciative of our employees from diverse backgrounds and cultures who contribute to the success of our company. One of the most positive ways that we can recognize and appreciate our employees is to invest in today’s education system to benefit our people and their children. Far West Fibers determined that a partnership with and investment in education at Lewis and Clark College Graduate School of Education and Counseling would produce the best results for and be most meaningful to our company.
In 2007 we were approached by Paul Copley, Instructor of Teacher Education at Lewis and Clark College, to determine our level of interest in establishing a Far West Fibers scholarship. We met with Paul, Jane Monnig Atkinson, at that time the Vice President and Provost of the college, and with Vern Jones, the Chair of the Education Department at the Graduate School of Education. These conversations led to us establishing the Far West Fibers Math and Science Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to preservice M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) students who are accepted into the intern program in Mathematics or Science. The candidates should have a record of commitment and service to low income recently immigrated Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. Candidates should be fluent in English and Spanish to be eligible.
To date, Far West Fibers has funded six scholarships at Lewis and Clark College in support of our teaching objectives. The teachers are being trained to instruct at the high school level and we hope to attract and retain as many teachers as we can in our local community education system.
This has been a very rewarding and successful program. We have the support of Vern Jones (Department Chair), Kasi Allen (Program Director and Math Specialist), Jerry Kuykendall (Science Specialist) and the Lewis and Clark staff as well as that of Scott Fletcher, the Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Counseling. We have had and continue to enjoy excellent scholars who are educating our children and preparing them for future employment at our company and at other businesses in the Portland Metropolitan Area. In addition to the scholarship, FWF coordinates with Vern Jones to assist Lewis and Clark College as an educational resource about sustainability and recycling. FWF also works with Jerry Kuykendall to assist him on interdisciplinary curriculum in Science and Math involving environmental, recycling and sustainability issues. FWF employees have conducted guest lectures in Jerry’s classroom at Lewis and Clark.