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.
Scholarship applications are due February 1, 2021
About the Scholarship
The purpose of the scholarship is threefold: to honor Al Forthan, to award higher education scholarships to students from families impacted by addiction and poverty, and to encourage students to explore how addiction has impacted our community and the solutions to this complex problem.
Al Forthan was a man that was heavily involved in the drug and criminal lifestyle in Portland. In 1991, Al made a dramatic life change toward recovery when he entered and completed the treatment program at Volunteers of America Men’s Residential Center (MRC). After graduating the treatment program, he enrolled in the Portland Community College Alcohol & Drug Counselor Program to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. In 1992, he became the first alumnus to work at the MRC. He worked from his heart and brought love, wisdom, integrity, humility, and a deep passion and commitment to recovery. During the ten years at MRC, Al touched the lives of hundreds of men and was the ultimate role model of recovery.
After Al Forthan passed away in 2006, Greg Stone, the Program Director of the MRC, created this scholarship in Al’s honor. He took $500 dollars out of his own pocket to award to an Oregon high school senior who came from a family impacted by addiction. This scholarship was created to help break the cycle of addiction within families by supporting students to achieve their dreams of attending college and furthering their education. The students awarded are extremely resilient, which is shown through their effort in school and service work. The $500 scholarship grew immensely since 2006. We were able to award $85,000 to 40 Oregon high school seniors in 2020. Since 2006, we have awarded $660,000 in scholarship assistance. Our aim is to continue supporting these incredible students in their future goals and breaking down the cycle of addiction within families. This is only possible with the help and support of those in our community.
We Stand for Social Justice
Our country and the world have finally started to acknowledge the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. Volunteers of America Oregon Men’s Residential Center (MRC) and The Al Forthan Scholarship have been partners in the effort for racial justice since the Scholarship’s inception in 2006.
Many of us are asking “how can I help this movement?” There are several great causes we can support, and one is right here in our own community, The Al Forthan Scholarship. In honor of native Portlander Al Forthan. The Al Forthan Scholarship supports Oregon high school seniors who come from families impacted by addiction and poverty.