Graduates of LOHS, Lakeridge, WLHS stand out for community service

Just when it seems the deluge of scholarships has ended, local teens and community members make it rain again.

The Lake Oswego Women’s Club recently announced the winners of its Outstanding Community Service scholarships. The $5,500 for the scholarships comes from the community. The nonprofit Women’s Club raises the dollars through events including the annual Lake Run, held in May.

The five honorees are graduates of three local high schools, two in Lake Oswego and one in West Linn.

“What we want to do is acknowledge young people who have already started giving back to the community because that’s what the Women’s Club is about is trying to make a contribution that enhances the community, and these kids have gone out there and done that,” said Virginia Rubin, Women’s Club board chairwoman of public relations.

Lakeridge High School

Kelly O’Neill plans to attend the University of Oregon in Eugene this fall to study human physiology and anatomy. O’Neill intends to be a physical therapist.Kelly ONeill

She won a $2,500 scholarship from Lake Oswego Rotary Club, a near full-ride scholarship to her university and an Office of Naval Research Scholarship through the prestigious National Society of High School Scholars.

O’Neill worked with Down Syndrome Network Oregon, supporting the group’s Challenger soccer team and helping out with the Buddy Walk fundraiser for the past four years, Rubin said.

“She really gets joy out of helping others,” said her mother, Lynda O’Neill.

Lake Oswego High School

Kyra Bailey plans to attend the University of Oregon this fall to study journalism. Bailey is interested in a career in advertising for a website or magazine.Kyra Bailey

Bailey volunteered for the Special Olympics and Abby’s Closet. 

She received the Summit and Solari scholarships, totaling $5,000 per year for four years. Bailey said she studied hard for those honors.

“It definitely feels like my hard work has paid off,” she said.

Brennan Heller has been accepted at the University of Oregon, where he landed a full-ride scholarship. He intends to major in biology, pursuing a career in medical engineering, developing new technologies to improve medical treatments.

He served on the African Tutoring Club at LOHS, educating students through the program for four years. Heller also was a Spanish translator and youth program facilitator for a mission trip to El Salvador through Agros International in 2012, Rubin said.

“It truly is an amazing transformation that both student and tutor go through, as I firmly believe that success can be measured by the difference we make in each other’s lives,” Heller said. “Though I was the teacher, my students taught me far more than I could have ever taught them. I learned to give.”Brennan Heller

West Linn High School

Clara Altemus plans to attend Duquesne University in Pittsburgh to study occupational therapy this fall and intends to pursue the field of pediatric occupational therapy.

She received an academic scholarship to Duquesne for $10,000 per year for four years and other honors, including a $1,000 scholarship from the Port of Portland.

She worked for 250 hours at Camp Yakety Yak, a summer camp that serves children with special needs. During school she volunteered at two local hospitals and also spent six weeks shadowing at a pediatric clinic in Oregon City.

“And, I have a job too,” added Altemus, who works at the Lake Oswego Corporation.Clara Altemus

Alexa Koll plans to attend Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., and is undecided on her major, although she plans to minor in religious studies. She is interested in becoming a math teacher.

She volunteered for the Willamette Christian Church’s food ministry, providing food to people in need. She also volunteered on a work crew at Young Life’s Malibu Club in Canada in 2011.

She received a grant and scholarship from Gonzaga totaling $70,720 for four years.

Scholarships are “a big help” and incoming high school seniors with college dreams should know that “there are groups that want to help out,” said Alexa Koll’s mom, Christa Koll.Alexa Koll

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