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Two CHS grads win Stamps Scholarships to U of O

by: COURTESY OF CLEVELAND HIGH SCHOOL - Cleveland High Valedictorian Ruby OConnor, left, and the schools other Valedictorian, Hannah Steinkopt-Frank, each has just won a Stamps four-year scholarship to the University of Oregon in Eugene.When the prestigious Stamps Foundation Scholarships became available for high school students enrolling in the University of Oregon this year, two of the only-five recipients were Cleveland High School valedictorians: Ruby O'Connor and Hannah Steinkopf-Frank.

The girls told THE BEE they were surprised, but delighted, to receive the four-year merit-based awards, which pay complete tuition, room and board, and up to $12,000 for enrichment – such as internships and study abroad. They also receive automatic admission to the U of O’s Robert D. Clark Honors College. The University of Oregon in Eugene is one of only 35 schools in the country to offer these scholarships.

Randy McDow, Executive Director for the Stamps Charitable Family Foundation, said the scholarships are intended to support intelligent and well-rounded students who had made an impact on their school communities. “We’re allowing them to focus on their education and develop leadership skills,” he said. “Freedom from financial concerns will help them focus on specific interests and career inquiry, leading them to explore and positively impact their world.”

Both the young women display musical talent as well as academic excellence. O’Connor plays violin in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, and sang soprano in Cleveland’s Choir. Steinkopf-Frank, a guitarist, joined two friends to form Breakout Sessions – a music festival that raises scholarship funds for the School of Rock music institution. Hannah says that she feels music is an important focus, and hopes to become a music journalist.

Both these grads also have a wide range of interests, including sports, dance, outdoor schools, and numerous club activities. O’Connor was president of Cleveland’s French Club, while Steinkopf-Frank co-founded the Math Club and Rugby Team, led the Jewish Student Union, and started a fund-raising club called the “Visible Warriors”.

Both have spent time as foreign exchange students: O’Connor in Turkey, and Steinkopt-Frank in France. Ruby is interested in travel, and would like to learn more languages, especially Arabic. Language studies provide a window into other cultures and traditions.

Roe and Penny Stamps, founders of the Stamps Foundation Scholarships, explain, “Inspired by the impact our university experiences had on our own lives, we have chosen to support exceptional students in their pursuit of higher education.” The students so honored are chosen on the basis of leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service, and innovation. They must have a minimum cumulative High School GPA of 3.85.

Roger Thompson, University of Oregon Vice President for enrollment, observed that Stamps Scholarships provide a way to highlight the talents of some of Oregon’s top scholars. “We are so proud of these students,” he said. “Each has a stellar academic record, as well as community service and out-of-classroom pursuits that should be celebrated and showcased.”