The recognition through JCEF scholarships that all my hard work in high school was being rewarded gave me such a feeling of accomplishment! The money towards school allows me to worry less about the financial burden of going to college. Knowing that there are people who believe and invested in me, gives me hope and encouragement to be driven and successful in my college career. Thank you to all the organizations and donors who support the Josephine County Educational Fund!
About Helena Decasas
Hidden Valley High School, Class of 2016
College: Oregon Tech (Oregon Institute of Technology)
Why I chose Oregon Tech: I chose Oregon Tech because it was the best fit for me. I’ll be on the track team but I love how academics come before athletics. The focus is really on classroom success. Oregon Tech has a positive atmosphere that encourages students to have fun while enjoying all that the campus has to offer.
Major: I plan to enter Oregon Tech as a pre-nursing major. My sophomore year, I’ll apply to OHSU’s nursing program on the Oregon Tech campus. I plan to minor in medical sociology because it interests me and will help with my career as a nurse.
What experiences drew you to the medical field? I have multiple family members who are nurses including two aunts, two cousins, and my mother who introduced me to the field of nursing. I’ve seen first-hand the joy they get from doing their job and how they are able to balance a family and a career. Volunteering in multiple units at the hospital really showed me what nursing is about and gave me a realistic understanding of the skills I’ll need to be a nurse.
Classes taken in high school that made an impact: Four classes really had an impact: AP composition, Spanish, psychology and sociology. AP Composition class was extremely difficult but so worth the effort. I learned how to write papers ranging from 2 to 10 pages. Because of this class I am better prepared to write papers for college level classes. I took Spanish classes my sophomore, junior and senior years…I’ve seen firsthand the importance of knowing a second language when working with a variety of people in a hospital setting.
Volunteer or paid work I’ve had to learn about my planned career: I volunteered in Med-Surg, Emergency Room, Radiology, Post-Anesthesia Care and Intensive Care units in the Three Rivers Medical Center Youth Volunteer Program. Nurses work in all those units but their daily job activities are pretty varied. I learned that I am best suited for the ER because I love the fast pace, working with a variety of patient types, and the turnover of patients.
High school activities and leadership: I participated in rodeo, 4-H, track and field, cross country, student government, Sparrow Club, Interact club, and National Honor Society. I was Track Team captain for 2 years, Junior Class vice president, Sparrow Club treasurer my junior year and National Honor Society president as a senior. Through all of these activities I learned the importance of leadership, dedication and time management.
Planned collegiate activities: I will be on the track team which has a competitive winter indoor
season, a competitive spring outdoor season and year-round training. I also plan on participating in Oregon Tech’s outdoor club.
Scholarships I received: JCEF scholarships include: Grants Pass Active Club and Grants Pass Clinic scholarships. I also received the Grants Pass Rotary Scholarship, HV Booster Club Scholarship, and a track and field scholarship from Oregon Tech.