Applications being accepted for CGCC Gorge Scholarships

Columbia Gorge Community College has just opened the gates for eligible high school students to apply for its best-kept secret: the Gorge Scholars program. Applications are being accepted until July 1 for this unique tuition-waiver program that awards students a chance to attend CGCC for up to two years and receive 18 college credits per term — for free.

“The impact and potential this program has for our students, their families and the community is really quite incredible when you consider that we’re basically providing a quality education at no cost to them,” says Loren Mason-Gere, CGCC’s academic advisor.

“While students will have to cover the costs of their own books, fees and miscellaneous expenses, tuition is waived as long as they meet and maintain our Gorge Scholar eligibility requirements.”

Applications for the Gorge Scholar program are now available in pdf format on the Gorge Scholar website. Here, students will find all they wish to know about what’s needed for their application packets, which must be submitted in person to Student Services at either of the college’s two campuses in The Dalles or Hood River (Indian Creek Campus).

Both the application and website also outline key eligibility requirements and the expectations. Gorge Scholar applicants must meet various criteria, including having graduated from a high school within CGCC’s service area or be a registered homeschool student living within the service area of an eligible high school.

They need a cumulative, unweighted high school GPA of 3.5 or better and must have earned the required minimum scores on CGCC’s placement test or equivalent as outlined on the Gorge Scholars webpage. (Homeschooled students must earn a minimum composite ACT score of 27 or SAT combined score of 1200.)

They must also enroll for full-time (12-18) credits at CGCC in fall term immediately following high school graduation or diploma completion. Graduates who join the military within three months of graduating will retain eligibility if they enroll at CGCC within six months of being discharged.

Of note, once accepted into the program, Gorge Scholars must continue to earn the reward they’re receiving. The program requires these students to keep their eligibility by continuously enrolling (fall, winter and spring terms) in at least 12 credits, maintain a CGCC GPA of 3.25 or better, and perform eight hours of documented community service.

“The program’s core goal is to empower a significant number of young adults to not just work toward achieving their dreams but afford to achieve their dreams,” says Lori Ufford, CGCC’s chief academic and student affairs officer. “Gorge Scholars caters to students with a proven track record for success and who see value pursuing their associate’s degree from CGCC.”

Columbia Gorge Community College is committed to offering Gorge Scholar tuition waivers for at least two years, but reserves the right to modify or terminate the program at any time. At the end of the pilot period, CGCC will conduct an analysis and determine the future of the program. Applications and more information may be found on the Gorge Scholars webpage.

About Columbia Gorge Community College

With roots that date back to 1977, Columbia Gorge Community College strives to be the first education option of choice in Oregon’s historic and scenic mid-Columbia Region. The college serves students on two campuses in The Dalles and Hood River, and is independently accredited, awarding two-year associate degrees that transfer to many four-year universities.

Building dreams and transforming lives with lifelong educational programs that strengthen community, CGCC also offers continuing education and professional certification opportunities for residents in both Washington and Oregon.

For more information, visit

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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