Tag Archives: The ford Family Foundation

Vernonia Indicator Project Finishes Report

The Vital Vernonia Indicator Project (VVIP) has completed their initial report and will be presenting their findings to numerous civic and community groups over the next several months.

The Vital Vernonia Indicator Project is a collaboration between Oregon State University Extension Service and the community of Vernonia and was designed to quantify and measure the well being of the Vernonia community.  By examining, recording and tracking indicators of vitality  over time the community can now measure progress towards goals to improve well being and identify areas for targeted community action or investment.

Many community indicator projects have been implemented across the U.S. and other countries, at scales ranging from the municipality, county, or state levels. Community indicator projects are typically implemented by a government entity or non-profit organization, often in conjunction with a university. Indicators draw on data obtained from reliable outside sources (such as the U.S. Census and other regional data collection efforts) as well as primary data collection in the form of community surveys.

In Vernonia, community goals were created and indicators were chosen and measured in the following five categories: Livability and Community Engagement, Youth and Education, Economy, Health and Well Being, and Environment and Natural Resources. By tracking community indicators over time, a community can gain insight into progress being made towards community goals, and can identify areas for targeted community action or investment.

Working with OSU staff and meeting monthly over the last two years, numerous local volunteers helped to develop the goals and indicators of vitality to be measured.   Data was collected through a series of household, business and student surveys as well as other sources, and then assessed to determine indicator targets.  A final report has been completed which will be available throughout the community for community members to read.  Volunteers will also be available to present the findings to any groups who may be interested.

A community forum is being planned in April to discuss the VVIP findings and the potential for community action.

The VVIP is seen as a useful tool for evaluating the long-term impacts of flood recovery, public and private investment in the new school campus, and other community initiatives. This project will also contribute to a better understanding of rural community vitality across Oregon, build local leadership capacity and knowledge, and further develop a framework for university-community partnerships centered on community indicators.

The Vital Vernonia Indicator Project was made possible through financial and in-kind support from OSU Extension Service/Columbia County, Vernonia Prevention Coalition, and The Ford Family Foundation.

Health Board Receives $250K Grant

The Vernonia Health Center Board of Directors has received notification that they have been awarded a $250,000 grant from The Ford Family Foundation.

The grant award is one of many major steps for the Health Board as they continue to move forward with plans to construct a new health center which is out of the Flood Zone.

The Ford Family Foundation grant award will go towards construction of the new health clinic which will be part of the Rose Avenue Project in Vernonia, which also includes a joint Senior Center/Food Bank building.  The current health clinic building, located on Bridge Street,  is owned by the Vernonia Health Board and was severely damaged in the 2007 Flood.  The Health Board has been offered a buyout from FEMA for their current property and building, which will be demolished after the buyout is complete.

The Ford Family Foundation grant is the first of several applications the Vernonia Health Board has submitted to foundations in the hopes of securing funding for their project.  They expect to receive a decision on an application from The Collins Foundation by the end of August and have also  made applications to The Meyer Memorial Trust, The Samuel S. Johnson Foundation, and the Oregon Community Foundation.  The Health Board is also reviewing several other grant opportunities to see if they would be a good fit for the project.  Read More

Local Student Receives Ford Family Foundation and Kaiser Scholarships

LocalStudentScholarshipDeziRoberts-webVernonia High School graduate Deziree Skye Roberts has received college scholarships from The Ford Family Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.

The Ford Family Foundation has selected 106 students from Oregon as new Ford Scholars.  This year’s Oregon Ford Scholars were chosen from 4,026 applicants.

Kaiser Permanente is awarding $2,000 grants to 108 graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue careers in health care through their Health Care Career Scholarship Program.

Roberts will attend Linfield College where she plans to major in Biology with the hope of becoming an orthodontist.

Kenneth Ford built his business, Roseburg Forest Products C. from a one-man operation in the 1930’s into one of the west coast’s largest wood products manufacturers.  He established The Ford Family Foundation after the business had experienced several decades of growth.  Mr. Ford created the scholarship program to help students who would find it difficult to obtain a college degree without financial assistance.  Other scholarship programs supported by the Foundation include the Ford Opportunity Scholarship Program, and the Ford Restart Scholarship Program.  Since 1994 the Foundation’s scholarship programs have awarded students more than $124 million.

Eligibility criteria include financial need and merit qualifications.  In addition, Scholars must attend an accredited, nonprofit college in Oregon and be pursuing a bachelor’s degree full-time.  The renewable scholarship covers 90 percent of each student’s unmet financial need for college ($1,000 minimum/$25,000 maximum) each academic year, with first-year awards averaging $8,448 per year.

Kaiser Permanente has awarded almost $1.25 million to 566 students in the service area stretching from Longview, WA, to Salem, OR.

Roberts was awarded her scholarship during a presentation on May 18th at the Performing Arts Center on PCC’s Sylvania Campus.

“We at Kaiser Permanente are proud to support these outstanding young people as they pursue their dreams of a career in health care,” said Sue Hennessy, vice president, Strategic Planning & Health Plan Services for Kaiser Permanente. “Each year, I am inspired by the intelligence, determination and compassion shown by the scholarship recipients.”

The Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship Program seeks to increase and diversify the region’s health care workforce by investing in the professional and personal health of youths. The scholarships are administered by the Oregon Area Health Education Center at OHSU.

Preference is given to students whose parents did not go to college, who show a demonstrated financial need, who are members of an ethnic or racial group underrepresented in a health care profession, and who speak English plus a second language.