2014 CAL Scholarship Winner
Jessica J. Hill
Jessica J. Hill grew up in the wheat fields of rural eastern Oregon, and that childhood makes its way into much of her recent writing about her time teaching English and traveling throughout Asia. She is currently studying creative non-fiction writing at CSU, and hoping to use her degree to finish her first book and to continue teaching. When she’s not in school, Jessica is searching for an adrenaline rush, be it outdoors sports such as hiking, climbing and snowboarding or riding a motorcycle around Columbia, South America, or traversing through rural villages in India and Thailand. For now, however, she’s quite content exploring all that Colorado has to offer.
2013 CAL Scholarship Winner
Jessica Joy Baarbé
I call myself many names: an abolitionist, a painter of words, a psychology student, and a runner – but most people who know me well, would tell you I am a dedicated
individual who is spurred on by passion. Through my education, writing, and speaking I am an advocate for children caught in the sex trade. It is my desire to not only
educate people about the reality of human trafficking, but to lead a coalition of change in North America.
2012 CAL Scholarship Winner
I grew up in Grand Junction and am proud to be a fourth-generation Western Colorado native. I graduated with my B.A. in English Writing from Colorado Mesa University with Honors (2006). While at CMU, I was the editor-in-chief of the University newspaper,The Criterion. I also had the opportunity to intern under Department of Interior Secretary Jane Norton in her immediate communications office. After I graduated until February of this year, I worked at a small public affairs firm in the energy industry that represented companies and operators seeking leasing permits on public lands. The majority of my work was in rural southwestern Wyoming, which was the inspiration for a series of short stories I’ve been working on entitledBoom Town Songs.
Since 2002, I have been active in Girls on the Run of Western Colorado, one of the largest GOTR chapters in the nation, as both a volunteer, coach, and board member. I recently was brought on as the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for GOTR to aid with sponsor relations, communications and media.
The scholarship will be going towards my elementary education teaching certification via Colorado Mesa University. I started the PBL program May 14 and will be fulltime in a first grade classroom starting in August going through May 2013, whilst carrying 15 credits per semester. On completion of the school year in May 2013, I will exit with my license in elementary education.
I come from a long legacy of teachers: Indeed, of the nine members of my immediate family, only my father does not directly work in a school. The opportunity to continue this legacy whilst being able to share my love of the written word is so humbling and fulfilling.
When I am not volunteering with GOTR, I love hiking, working out at the gym and watching hockey and working to spend every possible moment with my husband Tim and my son Jaxson.
2011 CAL Scholarship Winner
Out of the mountain town of Bend, Oregon comes a solo artist whose music can be viewed as an authentic expression of the environments we live in. Stu Basham writes music to articulate the raw emotions of life that sometimes go unnoticed or are indescribable. His lyrical style is influenced by people ranging from artists to poets to composers and his lyrics themselves are his feelings of the world and time he’s been placed in. While communicating his views about his experiences he still retains a connection with the audience that compliments the sophisticated rhythms and syncopation his music possesses. With influences ranging from the Dave Matthews Band to Alicia Keys, Stu’s music finds a way of combining the eloquence of soulful jazz with the exciting improvisations involved with jam bands. His defining voice gives the music a particular edge to it that helps the listener relate to the songs’ circumstances and understand the message he is trying to get across.
Stu has also appeared as a multi-instrumentalist on several national advertising campaigns. His keyboard skills are in high demand and he works extensively as a hired session keyboardist. He also tours and performs with Colorado based Jonny Duran Band, as their featured keyboardist.
Recently, Stu worked as the producer on his first album the Stu Basham EP where he incorporated his talents of drumming and guitar playing on top of his distinguishable rhythmic piano playing and melodic singing. He moved to Denver, Colorado in January 2009 to enter into a new market of music that identifies with the alternative style of music he creates. He loves being in Colorado but wishes that his hands would stop looking like a lizard’s because of the dry climate.