Scholarship Stories

These are some of the students the Al Forthan Memorial Scholarship is honored to support. The students that apply to the Al Forthan Scholarship are hardworking, resilient, and impressive. Take some time to get to know them by reading their stories below.



“Receiving the Al Forthan Scholarship has reminded me that I am not defined by the mistakes of my parents. It is a constant reminder of the places I’ve been and the places I’m going. And although the financial stability the scholarship has provided me with has been so extremely helpful, The Al Forthan Scholarship means so much more to me than just that. It has made me feel worthy, valued and honored by so many. I won’t ever forget the day I got up at the banquet and told my story. All of the encouragement I received afterward gave me the biggest feeling of acceptance and freedom that I have ever felt. The Al Forthan Scholarship has helped guide me toward a successful future. I now have the comfort of knowing that my dreams are possible, and that they are never out of reach. My goals matter. I matter. I didn’t always used to believe this until someone took a chance on me. I want to thank the Al Forthan committee for their dedication to changing the lives of students all over, because you guys most definitely changed mine.”

~Carly Newberg, 2015 Recipient



“Attending college has not only changed my life and provided me with amazing opportunities, but it has allowed me to break the cycle of poverty and addiction in my family. I learned so much about myself while attending college and found my passion and purpose in this world. Now I have the privilege to serve and support my community in the same ways that I needed support as a young person.”

~Sharice Jackson, 2010 Recipient



“I am a recent graduate of the University of Oregon. I applied for the scholarship because I was focused on getting enough funding for college to get me away from my drug addicted father and stepmother. Obviously, given my experience at home and of recent, the scholarship had a profound affect on me. The scholarship gave me the confidence to push for more and continue to accomplish my dreams!

Attending college was some of the best years of my life. I learned more about myself because of my experiences in college and became an all-around better person.

The Al Forthan Memorial Scholarship has given me the confidence to believe in myself and has helped me to give back. I want to be able to volunteer my time and help those that grew up in similar situations as myself.

Thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do for kids like me.”

~Casey Ragghianti, 2011 Recipient



“I am so thankful for this scholarship because it showed me that a community believes in my education and career endeavors. The scholarship has allowed me to focus on school and be involved in many organizations on campus to gain leadership and professional skills. I am the Vice President of Finance for University of Oregon’s Women in Business chapter, a club that empowers females and connects them to resources on campus and in the professional world. I am also a Senior Analyst with the University of Oregon Investment Group. In this group, I aid in the management of $1 million in funds through the selection of stocks. My involvement in these organizations has allowed me to land my dream job working as an investment banker. Without the scholarship, I would not have the financial independence that I am thankful for today.”

~Jelena Hoffart, 2014 Recipient