Every year, Portland Waldorf High School selects two rising 9th grade students for a merit-based scholarship, which will cover half of each student’s tuition for four years! This year’s scholarship applicants were asked to demonstrate a balance of scholastic merit, community leadership, and understanding of and desire for Waldorf education; we are happy to announce this year’s two scholarship recipients!

Alicia Mendez photoAlicia Mendez graduates with our PWS 8th grade in June. She is a creative, independent thinker who is motivated by her natural eagerness to learn new things every day. Alicia’s favorite subject is math. She says she enjoys math due to the small group collaboration, which not only contributes to a “stronger bond” among her peers, but also allows her to “comprehend the material easily.” Further, she says that “math is interesting and worthwhile” because of its ever-increasing ways she can be challenged by the subject, giving her “endless amounts of goals” like scoring 100% again on her next Algebra test. Her scholastic excellence and dedication are well acknowledged. Her class teacher says, “Alicia loves to learn and applies herself with tenacity. She is an excellent listener, thoughtful speaker, and a strong individual.” Alicia is a born leader who loves to help people and animals! She takes calculated risks and sees a bigger picture in life. “Outside of school, Alicia is training a puppy for the blind,” says her class teacher. “This task (14 months long) takes a great deal of selfless commitment and maturity to be the one in the lead.” Alicia’s academic and community service endeavors are balanced by athletics and music. She participated in PWS’s basketball team and continues on the school’s volleyball team, having been a captain twice; in track and field, she won 1st place in javelin and came in 2nd in discus. In addition, Alicia is a member of the school’s choir and band, where she plays the flute. Alicia has been a student at PWS for five years and wants to continue her Waldorf education through high school because she loves the way in which the “teachers interact with students.” Furthermore, Alicia appreciates her ability to participate in diverse programs like sports, art, and music. She says, “I find the community aspect of Waldorf so valuable. When I shadowed in the high school, everyone was so nice – it was like one big family!”

Miles Menely PhotoMiles Menely will graduate 8th grade from the Micha-el School. He is a hard working, self-driven individual who is passionate about school and life. Miles says that “it is difficult to pick one subject” that excites him the most because “with an enthusiastic teacher and classmates, nearly every subject lights up.” However, if he had to choose, it would be woodworking. “I am passionate about making things with my hands,” says Miles. “Woodworking allows me to be creative and express myself. These days, people aren’t often taught how to use tools to make or fix things – I like having the confidence to transform my ideas into reality.” In addition to his academics, Miles lives a very rich life outside of school. He is a member of a spiritual empowerment group that supports community building and spiritual relationships, plays the piano and annually partakes in a juried piano festival, has participated in cross country and Ultimate Frisbee teams over the past years, and is a gifted entrepreneur to boot. You may find him selling his own handmade printed cards, wood turned pens and bottle stoppers at the Milwaukie Farmer’s Market! In Miles, you will discover a respectful and caring friend who is adamant about effecting change. “It is important to take a leadership role when I have something to offer,” says Miles. “I will step forward when my peers or community are struggling […] I strive to serve as a role model for virtues such as respect, attention to my school work, kindness, trustworthiness and honesty.” His teachers also echo his leadership endeavors. “Miles is always supportive and inspires his classmates,” says a former teacher. “He is a helper to others of all ages and circumstances.” Miles is excited about continuing his Waldorf education at Portland Waldorf High School because it will allow him to integrate his artistic abilities throughout the breadth of his studies. He says, “I’ve learned the importance to persevere through tests and how to participate in a healthy community. Waldorf will continue to support my development in high school; and help me learn who I am and how to be of service in this world.”