April 13, 1998
by Tove Burhen
Special to the Valley View
Jessica Wells, 1997 graduate of Cedarcrest High School, received the Rich Duncan Memorial Scholarship upon her graduation last June and is now studying at Bellevue Community College. With a plan to study veterinary medicine, this scholar has been enrolled in chemistry and math classes at BCC. She is especially interested in science since her high school classes and does well academically.
"I have had very good instructors, as I also had in high school, and they are available ouside of class time and willing to help," Jessica said. "The class sizes are fairly small, with the biggest one, a chem class, about 30," she said. "This gives some one-on-one time. Once a week there is also a chemistry lab class where we study chemical reactions and also have fun making things such as soap and aspirin." Other classes have included computer science and English. Spring quarter she has enrolled in a pre-calculus mathematics class and, since a chemistry class was full, an aerobics class.
Since college studies take much time and effort, Jessica hasn't had time to pursue her 4-H activities involving her horse although she did show her Morgan Appaloosa at the Evergreen Fair. "Seven years in 4-H is hard to give up," she admitted. "I not only learned from the experiences but I also helped lead some activities. I was the assistant leader on a project on motorcycles. But I still prefer horses!" She also misses the music in which she participated at Cedarcrest in the band and as assistant drum major. "I also miss my high school friends," she.said. "Although some are attending BCC too, we are not on the same schedule. I have made some new friends here, but hope to get together next quarter with other CHS grads who are here."
Jessica had been working part time in the office of a construction company, but that job has ended, so she will do more child care. In fact, she enjoys children so much that her future plans could lead to a career as a pediatrician instead of veterinary science.
This dedicated scholar has put her pay into school costs, tuition and books. Her chemistry books for the year cost $100 and all texts are expensive. "I appreciate both the recognition and the monetary award of the Rich Duncan scholarship and I applied it to tuition and books," she said. Another expense for Jessica is her car payment. She has been driving to work and to children's homes since she was 16. She finally traded in the old car for an Explorer. "It's great," she exclaimed. "Both for getting out of our steep driveway when it snows or is rain slick and for transporting children to outings." Jessica, her parents and two younger brothers all enjoy outdoor experiences and go camping, fishing and hunting, mostly in the Cle Elum area."
It is rewarding to talk to commendable young people such as Jessica. The United Snoqualmie Valley Scholarship Foundation hopes to reward many more deserving graduates. Also, the Foundation works at recruiting more donors of scholarships. Businesses, civic organizations and individuals have generously initiated yearly awards through the USVSF. The Foundation helps donors with high school coordination, selection and the awards ceremony. Creation of new scholarships and donations to the Foundation's awards are much appreciated by the young scholars. For more information on the United Snoqualmie Valley Scholarship Foundation, please call co-chairs Tove Burhen at 788-1266 and Anthony Smith, Cedarcrest High School, at 788-0287.