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Lake Oswegan completes Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program

Lake Oswego resident William Price was among the 134 students to graduate in December from the Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (OYCP).

The accredited, alternative high school, which serves all 36 counties in Oregon, held a graduation ceremony for its 50th class on Dec. 16. Graduates all completed the program’s rigorous 5½-month residential phase. The graduation ceremony included students from 54 high schools and 17 Oregon counties and was held in the Middle Sisters Building at the Deschutes County Exposition Center in Redmond.

There are 35 Youth ChalleNGe Programs in the country, all aimed at students at risk of not graduating from high school. Program participants are taught life-coping skills, perform volunteer community service work and attend academic classes. OYCP’s 50th class provided 12,651 hours of community service at numerous civic events and nonprofit organizations in the Bend area, averaging 94.4 hours of service per cadet.

As part of their training through the program, the cadets earned their food handler permits and first aid and CPR certification. Cadets set a goal of giving 100 units of blood to the American Red Cross, and exceeded that goal by 29 units.

Free FAFSA help available

Students and families throughout Oregon can access free, on-site help with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) this winter through College Goal Oregon (CGO). Free events are being offered at 40 sites in January and February.

Students are encouraged to fill out their FAFSA forms as soon as they can, starting Jan. 1. The form determines financial need for purposes of federal, state and campus-based financial aid, including the Oregon Opportunity Grant and the Oregon Promise. At the CGO events, attendees will learn about navigating through the steps to apply for financial aid, scholarship opportunities, completing the FAFSA and more.

Students should bring their parents or guardians to the event, along with the tax returns of the parents and the student. Students and parents should also create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID before the event. For more information about creating a FSA ID, visit studentaid.ed.gov.

The CGO sites include Arts and Technology High School in Wilsonville and Franklin High School in Portland. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission of the Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) organizes the CGO events. Oregon's series of events is part of a national College Goal Sunday program, which National College Access Network organizes to assist students in accessing millions of dollars in financial aid.

For more information, visit www.CollegeGoalOregon.gov.

Build empathy in children

A committee of parents and educator is aiming to help build empathy — the ability to understand what another person is feeling — in children.

Oswego Brave, an initiative of parents and educators, is holding an Empathy Building Workshop Jan. 14. Elementary school parents can attend from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and secondary school parents can attend from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

The free workshop will be held in the library at Lakeridge High School, 1235 Overlook Drive.

— The Review