By Jeff Smith, Tualatin Rotary
Ines I. Venegas is the winner of the Tualatin Rotary Mentor Scholarship, Class of 2019.
Ines is a junior at Tualatin High School, successfully enrolled in a strong preparatory curriculum, including Advanced Chemistry and IB European History. Unique about Ines is her interest and accomplishments in the humanities and in music (she plays the clarinet), as well as her mission to be a “voice for those that don’t have the opportunity to go to school.” Ines is also proficient in both Spanish and English.
Ines wants to be an attorney as a basis for understanding law toward the goal of becoming a political leader. She has already shown her leadership abilities by advocating for the needs of her community through her leadership in MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx De Aztlan.) One of her important heroes is Supreme Court Justice Sonja Sotomayor who inspires Ines toward her goals.
Ines’s parents motivate her education: the promise she has made to herself is to “never stop learning!” Both of her parents wished they were able to stay in school instead of working and moving around from place to place looking for work. Since growing up, Ines has been told that going to school is a privilege, and that she needs to make the most of the opportunities in school.
Both Ines’s parents work very hard: one as a cook, and the other, cleans houses. Ines says, “Money has always been tight, but I am used to that.” Her parents have made it clear that one does not get things without working for them. However, despite their hard work as a family, Ines knows she will need additional support to meet college expenses.
Ines is the oldest of several children, and feels the pressure of being a good role model to her younger siblings. She knows her parents have taken risks, and continue to work hard for the family; Ines wants to make them proud of her. Ines helps out at home by making sure her brother gets his homework done, gets to bed on time, and picks up her sister from her track activities.
Ines has a mission to help others— with her background as a first generation future college student—to get their education, too. Her experience as a tutor in Intercambio, a program for high school students who tutor middle school students, inspires her to help others. Ines has come to realize that by helping others to learn, she continues to learn.
Ines has a record of service: she has served as a Pack Leader, tutor in Intercambio, and leader in Communicare. She is proud of her fundraising for families that need money due to issues around immigration, such as raising money in movie nights sponsored by MEChA. Ines also meets with Unite Oregon for dealing with serious problems of immigrants, and this has increased her awareness of the political world. She has recently made presentations to the Tualatin City Council in an effort to get support for her fundraising and for issues around immigration.
The Tualatin Rotary scholarship will provide a mentor from the Tualatin Rotary Club to assist and support Ines in pursuit of her education. To help meet college expenses, each year for four years after graduation from TuHS, the club will provide $4,500 to Ines, for a total of $18,000. Criteria for this scholarship include: first generation college student, strong goals based on a good or better academic record, financial need, willingness to work with an adult mentor, and a commitment to community service.