In the News

SPOTLIGHT: The Bob & Marilyn Ridgley Scholarship

Bob and Marilyn Ridgley, scholarship sponsors The Bob & Marilyn Ridgley Scholarship was created in 2014, and since then has been awarded to 10 outstanding Oregon high school students who have participated in at least one Civics Learning Project program. The scholarship recipient receives $2,500 each year for four years for a total of $10,000. One student is selected each spring to receive the award.

The Ridgleys are co-founders of Civics Learning Project, and as part of their legacy to Civics Learning Project, the State of Oregon, and its youth, they established this generous scholarship for Oregon high school students.

In addition to participating in a CLP program, applicants must show a strong academic background and a dedication to civic ideals. Additionally, teachers and administrators are interviewed to give more background and details about the applicant to help the selection committee make their decision – a very difficult process given the many dedicated and talented students from throughout the state who apply each year.

This year, we are proud to honor Cora Callahan of North Eugene High School with the Bob & Marilyn Ridgley Scholarship.

A few of the past awardees of the scholarship describe how receiving the Ridgley Scholarship has changed their lives:

Butch Nasser, 2021 Awardee:
“Receiving the Ridgley Scholarship is an unforgettable moment —I still remember the feeling of surprise and overwhelming emotion when it was presented to me! Because of the Ridgley Scholarship, I’ll be able to complete my undergraduate degree debt-free, and can direct more focus towards my education, rather than working to pay for it. Even now, a few years later, it’s a reminder that there are people out there supporting me. Receiving the scholarship continues to open up opportunities: I’ve made so many new connections via CLP, and learned so much from my interactions with people directly involved in civics. To this day, CLP and my civics education has helped shape my values, principles, and future path. From learning how to speak and lead within my local community, to receiving the affirmation to push me to truly consider a career in the legal sector, CLP and the Ridgleys have made a permanent impact on my life. Thank you Bob and Marilyn!”

Nadia Pahodzina, 2019 Awardee:

“The Ridgley Scholarship is why I am in law school right now. Many times, especially for immigrants, the smallest support makes the biggest impact in our lives. That is what happened to me. In high school, I had a dream to be an attorney, but that was just a dream. Even applying to Portland State University, I chose a business major, focusing on that “Plan B.” Lack of exposure and knowledge of the legal field made it impossible for me to see that career as a reality. As I began to participate in Mock Trial and We The People, I began to gain confidence in my determination, intelligence, and leadership. However, that was still not enough. Being praised by my peers did not break the barriers between my dream job and a realistic future. When I applied for the Ridgley Scholarship, I poured out my heart, my passion, and most importantly, my dream. I thought to myself, if someone out there believes in this and sees it as realistic, I have to take the leap. During the High School Awards Ceremony, my name was called for the Ridgley Scholarship. Holding the gigantic check, I was shocked. I looked at the smartest girl in the class, I looked at the most popular students, and I looked at the students that had made it known they want to pursue law, and I was speechless. Receiving this award made me realize someone out there sees potential in me. They see my dream and they want to invest in it. Standing on that stage, my dream started to become a reality. Over the next three years, I utilized my scholarship to its fullest potential, and more. I made it to law school, and now I’m contributing back into Civics Learning Project to support the students who, just like me, need to relate to someone, and to see their dream as real in order to take the leap. It’s not just money. It’s not just a big check, or recognition. It is an investment in dreamers, in leaders, and in immigrants.”

Keana Powers, 2020 Awardee:

“Receiving the Ridgley Scholarship was an incredible honor that really reaffirmed that other people believed in me, and that I was on the right track. I didn’t know exactly what I would major in, and it helped support my decision to choose a major in Sociology with a Crime and Justice focus. I wanted to learn more about our criminal Justice system, as well as the social impact from policing inequities, jury selection, sentencing disparities, etc. I decided to add a second major in psychology because I saw a lot of overlap in our legal system as well. Receiving the Ridgley Scholarship, along with my amazing high school mock trial experience, motivated me to stick with it in college. I’ve been a participant on the OSU mock trial team every year, and have held a leadership position for 2 years.  Now, as graduation is approaching, I’ve considered the combination of all of these factors along with my passion for law, and decided to apply for law schools. I hope to expand my legal education and one day becoming a defense attorney for disadvantaged populations.”