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Maps Community Foundation Awards Scholarships

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Emily at Maps Community Foundation Awards Scholarships

SALEM, Ore. 17 May 2022 — Maps Community Foundation is announcing its annual scholarships totaling $27,500 awarded to 23 local Marion and Polk County high school students to further their post-secondary education. The scholarships, awarded this month, are to students from Salem-Keizer School District, North Santiam School District, Silver Falls School District, Gervais School District, Central School District, St. Paul School District and Regis St. Mary Catholic School. 

With its roots in public education, a primary focus of Maps Credit Union is life-long learning. Foundation Executive Director Kim Hanson said, “We were so impressed with this year’s resilient and inspiring group of applicants, especially given the pandemic’s impact on their high school experience. This year’s winners shared compelling examples of their academic achievements, perseverance in the face of challenge, dedication to community service, and a passion for their career paths. Maps Community Foundation is honored to support each of them on this next step of their educational journey.” 

Aracely Salazar-Cervantes of North Salem High School wants to major in Business Management and start her own business. Specifically, to provide safe, stable jobs for field workers like her parents. She witnessed how they were mistreated at work and wants to ensure others have a different experience. She said, “Being born and raised as a person of color, I experienced a great deal of prejudice towards my family and I throughout all my life. I want to make a difference; not just in my community, but all around the world.”  

Mason Luna of Stayton High School has made the most of his high school experience, both academically and through service to his community. He has participated in sports, volunteered for disaster relief efforts in the Santiam Canyon, and will have earned more than 40 college credits by the time he graduates in June. The Maps Community Foundation scholarship is helping him pursue a degree in Business Management. He said, “This scholarship will help me show my community that you can still go to a university even though you might not make that much money. Most people in my community can only afford community colleges or just don’t go to college at all…If you put your mind to it, anyone can go to a university.” 

Ava Bush of Silverton High School is looking to turn what started as a hobby into her vocation. Ava began experimenting with hair and makeup in middle school and found that not only was it enjoyable, but she was good at it. She especially enjoys special effects makeup and has had the opportunity to attend cosmetology school part-time while attending high school. Part of the draw is making people feel good about themselves. Ava said, “I want to be able to give other people confidence to go out into the world and be proud of who they are.”  

These are just three stories of the graduating seniors who are receiving scholarships from the Maps Community Foundation for the 2022-2023 school year. Among the students selected for scholarships is a future civil engineer, marine biologist, radiologist, hair designer, and a nurse. In this diverse group of students many are the first in their families to seek a college education, all are active in their communities, and all have a desire to give back.  

Scholarships range in size from $500 to $3,500. Several scholarships are designated for students of color, students who are the first generation in their family to attend college, and career and technical education students. Two of the largest scholarships, the Phil Frey Memorial Scholarship ($3,500) and the Gordon Sawser Memorial Scholarship ($3,500), are given in honor of former Maps board members.  

For more information, visit, click on “community foundation” and look for “scholarships.” 

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About Maps Community Foundation 

Maps Community Foundation is the philanthropic branch of Maps Credit Union, a member-owned financial cooperative with 72,000 members and 10 full-service branches serving the Mid-Willamette Valley region. With a mission of enriching the lives of members and community, the Foundation focuses on improving the quality of life in the communities served by Maps. Community investments are directed in three impact areas: Education, Economic Empowerment, and Vibrant Communities. The Foundation is funded through a penny per swipe program and additional Maps contributions. In 2021, the Foundation distributed more than $300,000 locally.

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