Robby Running grew up in Hood River and thought for sure he was going to college to become a dentist. All of that changed for him when he took an organic spectroscopy class at SOU, and his world opened up. That’s the magic of what happens in the classroom at SOU. The path to discovery looks different for each student, but the opportunities are everywhere you look. Robby had the innate curiosity—and eager mind that many SOU students have—to venture into the exploratory nature of the sciences. Following that curiosity led him to an exciting path of career advancement.
Nayeli Esqueda Alvarado remembers learning to love video games ever since she could move her thumbs. She recalls spending much of her childhood playing video games with her father, a happy memory that Nayeli carries with her as she reflects on her SOU college experience. Nayeli will be graduating as a double major in Computer Science and Emerging Media and Digital Arts in June with the hopes of entering the video game industry. It’s because of her education at SOU that Nayeli is poised for a promising future.
The writer and teacher bell hooks wrote that “…education as the practice of freedom affirms healthy self-esteem in students as it promotes their capacity to be aware and live consciously,” which relates beautifully to SOU’s mission of preparing students to become engaged citizens in our democracy. The SOU Bridge program does just this by providing resources to underrepresented students so they can learn how to create successful lives of purpose.