Paige Martin '21 has been awarded the prestigious Stamps Scholarship to attend the University of Oregon Clark Honors College. Martin is one of only 10 UO incoming freshmen to win the merit-based scholarship, which includes tuition, fees, room, and board for four years of undergraduate study, plus a stipend for educational experiences such as study abroad.
“It didn’t come easy to me, but I knew I had to get good grades to put myself in a good position for college,” said Paige, whose unweighted grade point average is 4.417. “Everything that has happened until now has culminated in getting the Stamps Scholarship and made it all worth it.”
While a student at Christ the King Catholic School in Milwaukie, Paige earned straight As. She’s continued to do so at La Salle, all while taking many of the school’s most-challenging courses. This semester she's taking five Advanced Placement classes.
“I am proud of what I have done.” she said. “I always want to turn in my best work because I would rather get a worse grade knowing I did my best than a better grade knowing I could have tried harder.”
Paige has a lot of other reasons to be proud. Using a $3,100 Dare to Dream grant she received from La Salle, she founded the Hands for Hearts CPR organization to provide free, non-certified CPR, AED, and choking relief classes to people who couldn’t afford traditional first aid training.
Paige took advantage of many other opportunities at La Salle. She played volleyball, served as an ambassador, tutored other students, and participated in the school’s annual Mexico-U.S. border immersion, which was held virtually this year because of the pandemic.
Paige said she is grateful to the school and the instructors who nurtured her love of academics and created a comfortable place for her to learn and to grow.
“My Calculus teachers didn’t mind my friends and I using all of their whiteboard spaces after school to study for a test, and my Spanish teachers encouraged us to converse with each other in order to truly grasp the language,” she said. “But beyond academics, they’re just wonderful people. My teachers are a big part of my life. They were some of the first people to know about my college decisions; they were also there for me with support I needed when my grandma passed in January."
An advocate off campus, too
Outside of school, Paige co-chairs the Happy Valley Youth Council, which advocates for youth by holding Youth Town Halls, sharing peers’ concerns with city leaders, and meeting with Oregon legislators.
"Paige is one of the most dedicated and responsible Youth Councilors I have had the pleasure to work with," said Stephani Hern, Happy Valley's community involvement specialist. "Since joining the council four years ago, she is determined to work hard and add to its success. Her drive and caring personality allow her to work well with others in a team setting and be a strong leader.
Paige also has been active in the National Charity League, a mother-daughter philanthropic organization, and has volunteered with the Clothes Closet, food pantry, and preschool program at the Wichita Center in Milwaukie.
“I am struck by her humble and generous spirit,” said Renee Giesemann, Paige’s counselor at La Salle. “She genuinely loves to help her community, and this is evident by her involvement in so many areas.”
Plans to 'keep giving back'
At Oregon, Paige plans on majoring in biology and minoring in psychology and Spanish. She’d like to become a pediatric dermatologist who treats children suffering from atopic dermatitis (eczema), the autoimmune skin disease she’s had since birth. She remembers the stares and questions she got when her eczema flared up — and the relief she felt when her doctors helped her manage it.
By going into pediatric dermatology “I figure I’d keep giving back,” said Paige. “I want to help kids feel better in their own skin.”