Seneca Sawmill in Eugene and its sister companies are offering a $5,000 scholarship to the winner of a high school essay contest about the benefits of the wood products industry. To be considered for the scholarship, Oregon high school juniors and seniors must interview three people in the wood products industry and write an essay answering this question: “What are the benefits of forest management for the forest and for the community?”
“We see it as an educational program, an incentive for students to learn about the viability of our natural resources here,” said Ashley Jones, special projects coordinator for the Seneca Family of Companies and granddaughter of Seneca’s founder. “Obviously, we find that very important as our industry, and we’re just hoping to get students and the next generation excited about it.”
This is the first year that the Seneca companies have offered the scholarship, Jones said. The scholarship could become an annual program, she said.
The scholarship recipient may spend the money at any of the 26 public colleges in the state, including the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and community colleges.
The essays must be five to 10 pages long and be submitted by March 29. Seneca will announce the winner by June 1. Industry executives will choose the winning essay. “Education is so valuable,” Seneca co-owner Becky Jones said in a statement. “It should be available to anyone who wants it and is willing to put in the work.”