The college held its first “Ovation” event May 1 to recognize an outstanding alumnus, preceptor and supporter and to show appreciation for the many people who support its students.
At the same time 11-year-old Charlene McGee and her family left their homeland of Liberia in the midst of a civil war, 8-year-old Olivia Quiroz left Mexico City with hers – three sisters, three brothers and her parents.
Charlene would make her way to Portland, and Olivia to The Dalles, where her father was a farm worker. Whether it was those experiences or something more at play, both felt strong connections to family and community and an overwhelming desire to serve and to make the world better for future generations.
When they arrived at Oregon State University in the early 2000s, they felt the void left by far-flung family and community.