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Weyerhaeuser reaches out


August 2, 2004
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Weyerhaeuser and several Northwest companies have joined forces in an effort to provide Latino youths with the oppo…

Weyerhaeuser and several Northwest companies have joined forces in an effort to provide Latino youths with the opportunity to attend college.

"College is not considered an option in most Latino families," confirmed Mario Magana, an educator for Marion County. "No one in the family ever attended college. It’s an unknown that is intimidating and confusing to young Latinos."

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Weyerhaeuser and Oregon 4-H partnered to reach out to targeted youths at a summer camp with forestry, computers and chemistry workshops held last week at the 4-H centre, west of Salem. Educational 4-H programs have become wildly popular in Oregon, reaching almost 100,000 students in the state.

State 4-H director Jim Rutledge was pleased with the outcome of the camp. "The kids responded well to everything, including the forestry program. We’re actually looking at holding a two-week long camp next year. Rutledge feels the session provided a much-needed opportunity for the Latino community. "Our Latino population is our fastest growing population and we want to make sure they get the same opportunities as everyone else to contribute to society," he said.

Rich Wininger, a forester who manages Pacific Northwest and international log sales for Weyerhaeuser visited campers and plans to work with 4-H specialists during the school year to bring a forest science program to an estimated 300 Latino students from several counties. Partly funded by the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, the program is a spin-off of other similar projects targeted at the Latino youth community.

"My advice is pretty simple," said Wininger. "Earn good grades, get involved in the 4-H forestry program after school and set your sights on college and a career in forestry. We want them to know that we believe in them and that we will need their leadership in the future in the forest and in the business world."


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