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Honors Undergraduate gets Awarded Ford
Honors Undergraduate gets Awarded Ford

The Ford Foundation awarded Rachel Townsend their Ford Opportunity Scholarship. Rachel began college courses during winter term 2011 when she enrolled in Portland Community College’s Project Independence Program. After two terms at PCC, Rachel was accepted into Portland State Honors Program. Through the Honors Program Rachel has worked at internships for PCC's Woman’s Resource Center and at Lines for Life - Oregon's suicide and substance abuse prevention hotline. Rachel is also a volunteer mentor for first generation college students who recently received their GED and tutors nontraditional college students. Currently Rachel is working on her senior thesis project and will be graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology Spring 2014.

Learning to balance the demands of being a single mother of two (ages 8 and 4), being a full time student and life obligations has been challenging. During her first terms in school Rachel was single and a student for the first time in over a decade, learning how to be a single mother, and working part time. Rachel learned to plan courses strategically, time management skills, rely on her community of family and friends, and utilize the resources offered by the college to students who are parents. The Ford Scholarship will enable Rachel focus on her academic endeavors in undergraduate and graduate studies.

The Ford Foundation covers 90% of college costs (inclusive of living expenses) while their recipients are in their undergraduate programs and 80% of graduate school costs. Rachel is one of 36 award recipients in the state of Oregon and Siskiyou County, California.