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New Scholarship Rewards Working Individuals

One of the core focuses of the Crook County Foundation is education, primarily providing scholarship funds to students looking to continue their education in order to achieve their career visions. A few months ago, we were contacted by Erven Kincaid, a former Crook County High School graduate, with an idea that was unique in comparison to our traditional scholarships, but not an uncommon way to support a student. Erven wanted to form the Bootstrap Award Scholarship fund, which would match a student’s earned wages over a year.

Erven was not your top of the class type high school student, but he had dreams and ended up at the University of Oregon. During his time there, a family friend offered him an opportunity to work his way through college at their local lumber mill. This showed Erven work ethic, commitment, and responsibility. It also helped pad his pocketbook to cover his living expenses!

“Our society seems to reward high school grads who finish with the best grades. However, there are bright kids who for whatever reason aren’t scholarly and get overlooked. There were several of those kids in the class of ’59. I was one of them.” stated Erven.

The Bootstrap Award Scholarship will be open to any student who are currently seniors to those aged 24, but they must have graduated while living in Crook County. The focus will be finding a person who wants to work to build a better life for themselves, who is polite, has stayed out of trouble, and has a cheerful attitude. The type of schooling they are attending does not matter, whether it be a trade school, community college, or university, and the type of job they hold during their schooling is irrelevant, if they are earning wages. The student will need to provide copies of their pay stubs to our office and quarterly we will provide them a check matching their wages of up to $1,875, combining to a possibility of $7,500 in their first year. If they remain in school and employed, the student can continue the scholarship for a second year.

“The short-term goal of Bootstrap is to help honest hard-working kids who have been overlooked by the “system”. I believe that working in any sort of job is good for you. The skills you might learn with the entry level job can be as instructive as many of the classes in high school. Patience and tact alone will help in nearly everything. The underling purpose of Bootstrap is to reward young people who are developing a strong work ethic and have a realistic goal in mind. Their ideas could be as diverse as a welder, nurse, dental tech, plumber, mechanic, truck driver, etc.” said Erven.

Since this is a fund set up with the Oregon Community Foundation, through the Crook County Foundation, it will live in perpetuity and be able to support many students for years to come. Erven also wanted the fund set up in a way that anyone can contribute to it with any amount of money. His goal is to see others add to the fund, enabling us to support multiple students each year.

“The best-case scenario is a business hires a young person who does so well they win the award, get the education/training, and return to for a long term, full time carrier.” stated Erven.

The Crook County Foundation is enormously grateful for people like Erven and the over 20 other donors that we have providing important funds for our local youth to work towards their career goals. If you are interested in applying for this scholarship, the application will be available on our website ( in early December. To contribute to the fund, or discuss beginning your own scholarship award, please contact Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation Executive Director at 541-362-1210 or email

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