By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Former sheriff backs Chemeketa scholarships

In exchange, the foundation has agreed to launch a campaign to raise matching money. The gift and match will be dedicated to helping local students attend the college’s Yamhill Valley Campus.

“It’s very important to us that scholarships are made available to assist individuals here in Yamhill County — the community that means so much to us both.”

Lee used to serve on the foundation board, which he said “introduced us to the excellent educational programming and commitment to student success that is the essence of Chemeketa.”

Erma said education is important to both of them.

“Although raised in two separate worlds — Lee in a big family in Texas and I in a small one in Oregon — both sets of parents stressed the importance of education,” she said. “They knew education was the key to a better life for us, and they were correct. Now, we just want to pass on the type of opportunity we had that made a difference in our own lives.”

Last year, 220 Yamhill County residents applied for scholarships at Chemeketa, according to Holly Nelson, dean of the college’s Yamhill Valley campus. But she said only 50 could be funded,

“The need and the opportunities are great in Yamhill County,” Nelson said.  “Students can complete their associate degrees or launch their technical careers without having to leave our community. They just need help paying for college.”

For more information, contact the foundation at or 503-399-5148.

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