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Future First Citizen award discontinued

November 28, 2018

Roseburg High School students will no longer be able to apply for the Future First Citizen scholarship because the sponsors, including Umpqua Bank, CHI Mercy Health and a private individual decided to “redirect their investments.”

The Future First Citizen scholarship was created about 20 years ago by companies and individuals who wanted to support local high school students and see more of them get college educations.

Although the amount and number of awards changes from year-to-year, it is the largest single local award for Roseburg High School, according to Jim Early, career center director for Roseburg High School.

A few students asked him about the award’s status before Thanksgiving weekend.

“It’s significant,” Early said. “You can see why parents made note of it and said, ‘Hey, pay attention for when this comes out.’”

Early let students know in his weekly scholarship bulletin email that the citizen award would not be available this year.

“The sponsors of the award have decided to place their resources elsewhere in the community,” Early said in an email to students.

Early said sponsors decided two years ago to expand the number of students who would receive awards and gave away more money overall, but less to individual students.

“It’s an award that students and parents are aware of,” Early said. “One of the things they’ve always framed the award is, they want to recognize kids who are doing the right thing. These are top kids that apply for and receive the award.”

Umpqua Bank Executive Vice President Neal Brown is the spokesman for the sponsors. He was unavailable for comment.

The scholarship honored students for their overall contributions to the community. Scholarship winners have been traditionally announced at the First Citizens banquet sponsored by the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber is not a sponsor of the scholarship.

“It has been the chamber’s absolute honor to provide a platform for the recognition of so many outstanding Roseburg High School seniors,” Chamber President Debbie Fromdahl said. “And, of course, to thank the participating companies and individuals for creating the scholarship program and for their most significant financial contributions over the years.”

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