Salem – Each of them has different educational goals, career plans, and dreams. All of them have endured the personal and financial hardships that result when a parent is lost to a workplace death.
Three Oregon high school graduates are recipients of the 2022 Workers' Memorial Scholarship awards, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) announced. The awards program helps finance higher education for family members of Oregon workers who have been fatally injured or permanently disabled on the job.
“In the face of serious challenges, these students have shown a lot of heart and a lot of determination in staying focused on their educational pursuits," said Renee Stapleton, acting administrator for Oregon OSHA. “These awards represent an opportunity for us to help them continue to grow as they move forward on each of their unique paths."
Learn more about the Workers' Memorial Scholarship, including how to apply and how to support it, by
visiting online. It is open to any high school graduate, graduating high school senior, GED recipient, or current college undergraduate or graduate student who is a dependent or spouse of an Oregon worker who has been fatally injured or permanently disabled while on the job.
This year's recipients are:
McKenzie Dodge, Mill City
A graduate of Santiam High School, Dodge will become a sophomore at Linn-Benton Community College this fall. She is focused on pursuing a degree that will enable her to become an elementary school teacher.
“I have always had a love of working with young children ever since I was a young kid myself," she said. “Having three younger sisters and pretty much helping raise them has also played a huge role in my decision."
Dodge's father, a millwright, died in a lumber mill accident in 2014. She is receiving a $1,000 award.
Ginger Ewing, Bandon
Ewing, a graduate of Bandon High School, will be a senior at Linfield University this fall. Her degree plans include coursework in public health, with a goal of becoming a registered nurse.
“My inspiration to achieve my goals comes from wanting to help others, as well as being able to care for my mother, as she has cared for me my whole life," she said.
Ewing's father, a cattle ranch worker, was fatally kicked in the head by a horse. She is receiving a $1,000 award.
Saul Cruz Moreno, Salem
Cruz Moreno, a graduate of North Salem High School, will be a freshman at Western Oregon University this fall. His degree plans include coursework in entrepreneurship, with a goal of launching his own clothing brand.
“For a long time, I've admired how fashion and streetwear brands have come up with each of their clothing lines," he said. “I hope for one day to become as big as some of those brands, or even bigger."
Cruz Moreno's father died in a dust explosion at a seed cleaning facility. He is receiving a $1,000 award.
Award recommendations are made by Oregon OSHA's Safe Employment Education and Training Advisory Committee, an advisory group with members from business, organized labor, and government. Oregon OSHA presents the awards annually to help in the postsecondary education of spouses or children of permanently and totally disabled or fatally injured workers.
The 1991 Legislature established the Workers' Memorial Scholarship at the request of the Oregon AFL-CIO, with support from Associated Oregon Industries.