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School briefs for June 29

Program offers summer meals

Hungry children can get a healthy meal during the summer when schools are closed. These children can enjoy free lunches through the Summer Food Service Program, a federally funded nutrition program.

No paperwork is necessary because the neighborhood is qualified. Meals are served where children congregate, such as playgrounds, summer schools and community centers.

The meals, along with positive enrichment activities, help students return to school in the fall healthy and ready to learn.

Children through age 18 can use the service, and there are more than 700 locations across the state.

For more information, visit summerfoodoregon.org or call 1-800-SAFENET to find a location near you.

Days and hours vary. Most sites only serve lunch, usually between noon and 1 p.m., with some offering breakfast in the morning, snacks in the afternoon or dinner in the evening.

Teenagers graduate from program

Seven East County teenagers graduated from the Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (OYCP), a statewide alternative high school, on June 15 in Redmond.

Graduation indicates the completion of the 5 1/2-month residential phase of the program.

Gresham graduates include: Kristena Binder, Maria del Carmen Delgado Silva, Katherine Lopez and Edgar Sanchez Simancas. All these students will be able to return to their high schools and graduate.

In addition, William Marin of Wood Village, Maria Frias of Damascus and Keith Sanders of Fairview, were among the graduating cadets.

Upon graduating the program, Marin earned his high school diploma. Frias and Sanders earned enough credits to return to high school.

While in the program, Frias was a member of the color guard and Lopez was a member of the drill team.

Marin received honors for most outstanding physical fitness improvement and is one of nine cadets to receive a $500 Jump Start Grant, which helps cadets achieve their education and career goals.

As part of their training, all 128 cadets earned food handler permits, as well as first-aid and CPR certification. In addition, 118 donated blood through the American Red Cross.

This particular class also provided 12,639 hours of community service, averaging 98 hours per cadet.

The program is free to cadets and their families and has successfully graduated more than 4,000 cadets since its inception in 1994. Cadets work through two phases beginning with an intensive 5 1/2-month residential phase during which they cultivate life-coping skills, perform community service work and attend academic classes. This phase of the program is followed by one year of mentoring with an adult who is trained by the program and selected by the cadet.

For more information, visit oycp.com or call 1-541-317-9623.

Gresham Rotary awards scholarships

Gresham Rotary has awarded scholarships to graduates from Gresham, Barlow, Sandy, and Centennial high schools to attend Mt. Hood Community College.

Each scholarship is worth $1,500 per year at the college, up to two years.

On May 18, the Rotary celebrated its honorees at a luncheon, and counselors from each high school introduced their students, who had the opportunity to share their goals, hopes and dreams with the club.

The scholars were as follows.

Christa Collmer from Barlow, competed in multiple sports including swimming, water polo and track. She is committed to service to her community and volunteers at Birch Community Services and at a summer camp.

She was senior class president. She is studying Spanish and hopes to follow in her sister's footsteps and study abroad someday. Her sister is in Peru. Collmer plans to major in business.

Maddie Beland from Gresham is described as 'energetic, bubbly and always dependable.' She served as student body president in her junior year and is active with the Oregon Association of Student Councils. She volunteers in a summer leadership camp every year. She has decided to become a hairdresser with the goal of owning her own business, and will double major in cosmetology and business.

Tobin Shields from Sandy was involved in drama as well as musical theater. He has volunteered more than 700 hours as a student leader in outdoor school. He also works with students in the Phoenix Program and Every 15 Minutes, helping young people with substance abuse issues.

Shields studied technology at the Center for Advanced Learning and plans to major in integrated media as well as Web management.

David Trusov from Centennial is 'an exceptional student with an outstanding record of contributions to his community.' He cooks for mentally ill patients, feeds the homeless and volunteers regularly for Red Cross blood drives. He plans to major in vascular technology with the goal of working in the medical profession. ­

Local students graduate from academy

The state's leading tuition-free public virtual school, Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA), held a commencement ceremony for its largest graduating class to date Saturday, June 25, in Salem.

Around 150 students from all over Oregon graduated, including the following students from Gresham: Alex Almasan, V. Arthur Bennett, Dmitriy Bezzubets, Kaitlin Klug-Watson, Eli Neu and Alexandra Rosier.

Benjamin Dahl and Samuel Fisher of Troutdale also graduated.

For more information go to ConnectionsAcademy.com.