Alumni Features Public Health

Commencement 2021: Tamme Young

Meet Tamme Young in this Synergies Q&A. Tamme graduated in winter 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in public health.

Tamme Young and her service dog, Henry
Tamme Young and her service dog Henry

Tamme Young received her bachelor’s degree in public health from Oregon State University in winter 2020. Originally from Havre, Montana, Tamme returned to OSU as a non-traditional college student. Despite numerous obstacles, she persevered and plans to support homeless veterans on a path to stability. 

We asked Tamme about her time in the College of Public Health and Humans Sciences, as well as her future plans.  

What inspired you to study public health?  

I started out majoring in dietetics while taking care of my elderly parents and raising two children as a single mom. I was turned down to do an internship because my GPA wasn’t high enough towards the end of the program. My advisor suggested public health based on my life experiences and knowledge of locating resources to assist people moving toward a healthier and productive lifestyle.  

What are you most proud of from your time so far in the CPHHS? 

I came back to school after a long break due to my parents’ passing, experiencing a bout of homelessness, and having a close family member attempt suicide. I persevered all the challenging times and finished my degree.  

Have you received any scholarships or assistance during your time here?  

Disability Access Services (DAS) was a blessing! I have a disability with a medical alert service dog, and DAS connected me with so many resources that made finishing my degree possible.  

What are the most memorable lessons you’ve learned as a student?  

Your deepest desires for the path you want may not be the path that is best suited to let your skills shine. Breathe, embrace change with a smile and always have an open mind.  

What will you miss the most about the CPHHS, OSU or Corvallis?  

Classes and homework! As crazy as it sounds, the last few weeks I’ve had to remind myself nothing is due.  

What have you learned in the past year?  

You can evolve and bloom, even on Zoom. I am not a fan of remote classes, but I am thankful that OSU rose to the challenge and provided the platform to continue my education.  

“Henry is my service dog. When he completed his training, his trainer Suzanne Brean got him an orange and black vest knowing I was continuing my education at OSU. I am now a board member of Dogs for Invisible Disabilities, a nonprofit that Suzanne and her late husband created to educate communities and train service dogs. I incorporate that into my work with homeless veterans,” Tamme says. 

What’s next? What are your plans after graduation?  

I was blessed to get an internship and a job rolled into one. I will be working with homeless veterans through Supportive Services for Veteran Families in Lincoln, Linn and Benton counties  

How will you create a healthier world? 

I will create a healthier world by helping a vulnerable population connect with the most basic needs, and by helping the men and women who have served our country build a path to stability.  

What does health and well-being mean to you?  

To twist one of my role models, Eleanor Roosevelt’s words, health and well-being are not the destination they are the byproducts of a life well lived. Facing my own challenges has given me a beautiful perspective on how that picture is different for everyone. Rough patches happen; it’s how you strive to move past them that defines how well lived your life will be.  

Do you have any advice for incoming students?  

Ask for help and use it. You pay for all these services on campus whether you use them or not, so get your money’s worth and use them. Your education will be richer and easier, and your network will be more enhanced when you graduate.