Eight Oregon high school graduates are recipients of the 2019 Workers’ Memorial Scholarship awards, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) announced. The awards program helps finance higher education for family members of Oregon workers who have been fatally injured or permanently disabled on the job.
Each of the recipients has different educational pursuits, career aspirations, and plans to contribute to something larger than themselves. All of them have experienced the personal and financial hardships that result when a parent is lost to a workplace death or permanently disabled while on the job.
“In the face of immense challenges, these young people have shown courage by never giving up on themselves or their drive toward new educational accomplishments,” said Oregon OSHA Administrator, Michael Wood, in a press release. “These awards are an opportunity for us to support them as they continue to move forward in life.”
The Workers’ Memorial Scholarship is open to any high school graduate, graduating high school senior, GED recipient, or current college undergraduate or graduate student who is a dependent or spouse of an Oregon worker who has been fatally injured or permanently disabled while on the job.
One of this year’s recipients, Alannah Rudduck, is from nearby Warrenton. After graduating from Warrenton High School, Rudduck earned three Associate degrees at Mt. Hood Community College. She is now working toward a Bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene at Augusta University in Georgia. She also plans to pursue a minor in business.
Rudduck is a long-time community volunteer, having delivered food to hundreds of families in need in Warrenton every year since she was in the sixth grade. She has also volunteered at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, including stocking medical carts and helping prepare rooms after discharges.
Rudduck’s father, a police officer, died in the line of duty. Rudduck never met her father. He passed away in March 1996, when she was 3 months in the womb, while trying to help pay for her future education. Rudduck was born in October 1996. She is receiving a $4,000 reward.
“This scholarship means a lot to me in the sense that I’m from a single parent household and knew my education was all going to be paid out of my own pocket,” said Rudduck.
Rudduck worked two jobs in high school to save up money for school and applied for as many scholarships as possible. She volunteered at the Warrenton Fire Department from 2007 to 2014, helping with their annual food drive. When she graduated from high school, she moved to Gresham to get her Associate degrees and her CNA1 certification while her fiancé at the time finished school for the US Navy. Rudduck volunteered at Legacy Mt Hood Medical Center in the ER until she moved to Georgia.
Rudduck started attending school at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. She thought she was going to be a nurse because she loved science. However, being that she was from a single family household, she was never able to care for her teeth properly.
“I finally got the work done I needed for my teeth and realized how important they were to me,” said Rudduck. “I also had a dental hygienist that loved his job and made me realize I wanted to be happy about my job as much as he was, so I applied to the Dental Hygiene program.”
Now, Rudduck is officially a senior and will be graduating May 2020 in Augusta University’s Dental Hygiene program.