2018 Evans Scholarship winners Victoria Dang, Joseph Goodwin, Anthony Nguyen, and Taylor Phomphakdy, will all attend the University of Oregon beginning this fall, on full scholarships, thanks in part to PP&R’s EAGLE Caddie program.
Four Portland-area students who take part in the Portland Parks & Recreation EAGLE Caddie program (Early Adventures in Golf for a Lifetime of Enjoyment) have earned full housing and tuition scholarships through the Evans Scholars Program: Parkrose High School senior Thu Victoria Dang, Parkose High senior Joseph Goodwin, Benson High senior Anthony Nguyen, and Parkrose High senior Taylor Phomphakdy. The quartet have been awarded full scholarships to the University of Oregon, beginning this fall.
Evans Scholarships are supported by the Western Golf Association, and valued at more than $100,000 over four years. The requirements for becoming an Evans Scholar are based on having financial need, good grades, a strong caddie.
“I offer my heartfelt congratulations to these students for showing tremendous drive and initiative,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “I am happy they have earned the Evans Scholarship to continue their education, demonstrating the success of an important partnership between Portland Parks & Recreation’s Golf Program and public high schools.”
One of the scholarship recipients is Parkrose High School standout Taylor Phomphakdy.
“I literally cried tears of joy,” says Phomphakdy. “There’s nothing I’ve been wanting more than to be the first in my family to attend a four-year university. But to get a full ride feels absolutely unreal. It still feels like a dream to me. I may be getting a full ride to UO, but I am forever indebted to the EAGLE Program because of the lifetime of opportunities it’s now opened me to.”
The EAGLE program is a unique internship program that is a cooperative venture between Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), Western Golf Association, and public and private high schools located within the city of Portland, aimed at introducing students to all aspects of golf course operation. Qualified students are paid an hourly wage, receive work credit hours, and have a mentor who monitors their progress. In addition, scholarship opportunities are available from their involvement in our program. Since 1992, over 80 students have successfully completed college on Evans Scholarships received through PP&R’s EAGLE program. In addition to the scholarships, the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation funds the EAGLE Caddie Program. As a part of the EAGLE program, Dang, Goodwin, Nguyen, and Phomphakdy served as caddies for 80 separate 18-hole rounds during the 2016 and 2017 summer golf seasons.
“I can see many more exciting milestones in Thu, Anthony, Joseph, and Taylor’s futures,” says Portland Parks Director Mike Abbaté. “I’m proud that they have worked so hard in school, and in the EAGLE Caddie program, to be able to continue their superb academic achievement, and on full scholarships. The EAGLE program is one more way we provide our mission of ‘Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland’.”
Thu Victoria Dang is a Vietnamese immigrant who has lived in Portland since 2011. She attends Parkrose High School and lives with her mother and father. As she began middle school, Victoria only spoke a handful of English words. However, she was able to successfully exit the school’s English as a Second Language program by the end of 8th grade. Now she’s a freshman-to-be at the University of Oregon, on a full-ride scholarship.
Joseph Goodwin is a top student at Parkrose High School who believes his best attributes are his perseverance, and ability to adapt to his surroundings. Joseph is excited to begin college, and plans to attend medical school to become an anesthesiologist.
Anthony Nguyen attends Portland’s Benson High School and says that education is his top priority. Anthony notes that higher education is not affordable to everyone. Earning the Evans Scholarship means that Anthony will be the first member of his family to go to college.
Taylor Phomphakdy is a standout at Parkrose High School. Her teachers refer to Taylor as a role model, as she consistently helps other students understand new material, and to thrive. Taylor also serves on the AVID student council.
“I am a freshman Evans Scholar at the University of Oregon. As of now, I would like to major in Business Administration with a finance concentration, in addition to a Spanish minor. School has been rewarding, yet challenging so far! I attended a few club meetings this past term, but I look forward to becoming a part of a business club during winter term. Living with Evans Scholars at the UO house [the living space designated for such winners] has been incredibly fun due to the lively, positive and fun atmosphere. Our house has participated in intramural flag football and volleyball, which was a great way to get to know the other Scholars and have a blast! In addition, it's exciting to be living around other motivated students with different educational interests. Everyone in the House wants one another to exceed, which makes for an awesome living environment. I look forward to spending the next few years at the Evans House, and encourage all interested high school students to apply to the EAGLE program!”
Three Portland-area EAGLE students earned full housing and tuition scholarships to the University of Oregon starting fall 2016 through the Evans Scholars Program: Ngoc Le (Madison High School), Xingling Guan (Franklin High School), and Demetrius Wallace (Parkrose High School).
Ngoc Le (pronounced knock lee) is a Vietnamese immigrant who has lived in Portland since 2012. She attends Madison High School and lives with her mother and stepfather. As a high school freshman in the fall of 2012, Ngoc only spoke a handful of English words. By the end of the 2012-2013 school year, she earned a 3.9 GPA and was able to successfully exit Madison High’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program. She volunteers with the Oregon Food Bank, and is a member of both the Madison Garden Club and Viet Group. Ngoc plans on majoring in biochemistry in college, with a goal to help eliminate unhealthy chemicals and other pollutants from the environment.
Xingling Guan (pronounced shingling gwahn) and her parents moved to Portland from China in the summer of 2012, seeking better educational opportunities. She attends Franklin High School, where she holds a cumulative GPA of 3.955, having received only a single B in her high school career. According to her Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, Xingling is an outstanding student and a strong critical thinker, tenacious and eagerly seeking out challenges to strengthen her skills. Xingling plans on studying biochemistry at U of O, with the goal of becoming a dentist.
Demetrius Wallace attends Parkrose High School. He says his highest priority in life is education, as his 3.9 GPA can attest. His grandmother raised him until she passed away in 2013, and he is now raised by his step-grandfather. Demetrius says his grandmother taught him that anything is possible through hard work and dedication. He adds that she gave him a solid foundation and even now, inspires him to never give up. Along with a classmate, Demetrius founded the Parkrose Chess Club. According to his school counselor, Demetrius is a hard worker, dedicated, kind, and respectful, with a great amount of integrity. Demetrius plans on studying business administration.