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Scholarship Recipient Erasmo Ruiz
Scholarship Recipient Erasmo Ruiz

Erasmo Ruiz is the first from his Hood River family to graduate from high school and earn a college degree. In March, thanks in part to a Portland State University Bookstore Scholarship, he will be awarded a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy.

Erasmo, who earned an undergrad degree in criminology and criminal justice at PSU, says the Bookstore Scholarship means he can focus solely on finishing his studies. It’s also a meaningful acknowledgement of the effort he’s made to get his master’s degree.

“I’ve worked really hard so I feel like receiving a scholarship is a recognition of those accomplishments and having good grades,” he says.

Ultimately, Erasmo wants to get a Ph.D. in sociology so he can teach. Or, he’d like to be an academic advisor at a university.

PSU’s student body is the most diverse of any of Oregon’s public universities, a factor Erasmo believes potential donors should consider. Funding scholarships at PSU is important, Erasmo says, because its diversity prepares students for the real-world work environment they’ll face once they graduate.

“It’s a good investment,” he says. “They’re investing in the future of our country.”