Students Say “Thanks for the Support!”

May 29, 2024

From the time incoming Eagles pass through the pillars and celebrate their arrival at Eastern to the light-bulb moments that connect them to their futures, you have been with them.

You’ve helped with scholarships that make the dream of a college education a reality, and provided assistance when unplanned emergencies – including devastating wildfires – arise and threaten their ability to stay in college.

You’ve funded programs, projects and experiences that engage and inspire – providing students with opportunities to develop professional skills and connections that open doors to impactful careers.

We thank you profusely – and so do our students!

Picture of Sam Steege, who will begin his senior year this fall.
Sam Steege will begin his senior year this fall.

Meet Sam Steege. His family lost their home and belongings in the August 2023 Gray Fire, which impacted Medical Lake and surrounding neighborhoods.

Thankfully, the EWU Student Emergency Fund, supported by donations from our Eastern community, helped him cover tuition and continue moving forward.

“It feels good to know that there’s resources to help in such crazy, unexpected times like this,” says Sam, who is one step closer to his dream career in sports communication, thanks to the “genuinely nice people” who support EWU students.

Ashley Grace Ogle, a 22-year-old from Spokane, is graduating in June with her bachelor’s degree in biology. She’s continuing on a path toward a master’s this fall, doing research for Palouse Prairie restoration, an EWU project funded in part through private donations.

“When I first heard of the Prairie Restoration Project, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,’” Ashley said. “I love it. And I want to get even more engaged with it because what I’m passionate about is ecosystem restoration and conservation.”

Ashley Grace Ogle will graduate in June and pursue graduate studies this fall.
Ashley Grace Ogle is helping to propagate seeds for the prairie.

Kennedy Boyes, who will graduate in June with a bachelor’s in social work, shared details about her recent internship, while also thanking founders of the Krumble Foundation for their support during a special reception on May 21.

The event, held in the Walter and Mrytle Powers Reading Room in Hargreaves Hall, celebrated the success of juniors and seniors helped by the Krumble Foundation. The foundation provided a total of $1.5 million in life-changing scholarships and internship stipends that helped 180 EWU students over the past five years.

Kennedy told an audience that included other student scholarship recipients, President McMahan, Provost Anderson and other university representatives that the Krumble stipend made it possible for her to accept an unpaid internship with Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The internship required driving round-trip, from her hometown near Ritzville, Washington, to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, twice a week.

Since fall, Kennedy has gained 480 hours of professional experience while learning to do the difficult work that protects children from child abuse and ultimately saves lives. “I love social work because I’ve always had a passion for children who are underprivileged,” Boyes said.

Kennedy Boyes talking about her internship experience.
Kennedy Boyes talking about her internship experience.

Future speech therapists Hailey Arland, 23, of Davenport, Washington, and Camron Valdez, 24, of Othello, Washington met up with scholarship donors Kathy and Ken Privratsky earlier in May.

The alumni couple created a fund to support students in communications sciences and disorders (CMSD). Hailey and Camron are among this year’s recipients of the Kathy (Iverson) Privratsky Honorary Endowed Scholarship.

In addition to supporting CMSD students, the couple created the Proud Eagle Nursing Scholarship to assist future nurses, like Jessica Avalos and Brooklyn Parkey, who will graduate with the EWU’s first nursing cohort in 2025. The couple also supports the university’s ROTC.

Kathy Privratsky became a trailblazing speech therapist who used adaptive technology to help nonverbal schoolchildren in rural Alaska find their voices.

Hailey, who also plans to work with children in rural communities, was inspired to meet Kathy and, also, Ken, who served as a major general in the U.S. Army.

Hailey Arland and Camron Valdez enjoyed meeting Ken and Kathy Privratsky.
Hailey Arland and Camron Valdez enjoyed meeting Ken and Kathy Privratsky.

“Your scholarship has made such a big difference because I didn’t have to take out a big loan. This is just so, so cool. I really appreciate it,” Hailey said.

Camron, who prefers helping adults impacted by Parkinson’s and other conditions impacting speech, appreciated the opportunity to talk with the Privratskys and thank them in person.

“Reading about you guys and what you have been doing for years for the school, and obviously for people like Hailey and I, aspiring clinicians, it was nice. It was really a blessing.”

**Visit EWU/Give to learn about the many ways you can support student success at Eastern Washington University.