1/1/2009 Oregon Opportunity Grant Profile: Denisse Chacon
Growing up in Los Angeles, Denisse Chacon always wanted to go to college, but because of financial challenges and lack of support, she was not sure if she would ever have the chance.
She did not know the steps she needed to take to get into college, but knew she wanted a college education. Linfield College offered her the opportunities that she was looking for.
“I really wanted the one-on-one attention with professors,” said the 19-year-old sophomore. “I wanted to prove to myself that a minority student can come to a private school and succeed.” The Oregon Opportunity Grant and the scholarships she was awarded made Linfield an option.
Chacon is the first in her family to go to college and is excited that her younger sisters are now interested in attending as well. Through her experience, her sisters have become familiar with the application process and see that it is possible to attend.
Chacon is happy with her decision to come to Linfield. She said that she would not be at Linfield if not for the Oregon Opportunity Grant and other scholarships.
“There are a lot of barriers when it comes to getting into college,” she said. “One of them is not knowing the process, and once you figure it out, a lot of students are discouraged because of the financial obligations. That’s where they tend to stop.”
Chacon’s Linfield professors have been supportive, especially as she applies to study abroad. She plans to study in Mexico through the Mexican Solidarity Network during her junior year and says that her professors have been instrumental in encouraging and helping her through the process.
Ultimately she would like to attend graduate school to earn her master’s in social work.
“I see how helpful nonprofit organizations can be and I think social work is an area where you can help out,” she said.