2024 high school graduates attend Klamath Tribes Honor Dinner & Recognition

The 2024 high school graduates attended the Klamath Tribes Honor Dinner & Recognition on May 23 at the Ninth Street Venue. This is the ninth year the dinner has been held to celebrate tribal students who graduated from high schools in the Klamath County School District. Fifty-two Title VI students graduated from high schools this year, and 21 students attended the event. The Klamath Tribes News caught up with five students to discuss their future plans.

Honnahlee Hicks from Klamath Learning Center plans to attend Klamath Community College to do her basic studies and then transfer to Southern Oregon University to study teaching history. “The reason I really wanted to do it was because I noticed during history growing up that none of the teachers really knew a lot about Native American history,” she said. “And so, I really thought it was important that people know more about Native American history.” She said that although Southern Oregon is her college of choice right now, she is also deliberating on attending the University of Oregon.

Frank Loreman is a senior at Chiloquin High School and plans to attend Portland State University after high school graduation, majoring in architecture. “I have a passion for creating things, and I want to leave my mark on the world,” he said. “I chose it because of the tuition-free degree program, but also because they’re one of the only two colleges in Oregon with an architecture program.”

Klamath Union High School senior King Vaughn will pursue an engineering degree, first attending Klamath Community College and then transferring to Oregon State University. “I want to go to KCC first because it’s close by, and I live around here, and it’s kind of the easiest option,” he said. He is pursuing funding from the college to offset tuition costs. He chose OSU as his next college pursuit after visiting the college during a native student trip. “They have like, three engineering programs,” he said. “Two of them I’m interested in, and I think they could really help me with getting that degree.”

Keely Hall of Klamath Union High School is a valedictorian. She is still undecided about her major but intends to go to the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. She has two majors in mind, either engineering or accounting. Oregon Tech is her choice in order to stay close to home, and she also received financial assistance from the college. “I got two academic scholarships from Oregon Tech,” she said. “One is for a five-grand scholarship each year and then one thousand for the first year.”

Shayla Ochoa is a senior at Chiloquin High School and will be attending Klamath Community College to pursue an Associate Degree in nursing; then plans to go to Portland State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing and science. “I just wanted to be a registered nurse because, with that degree, you can go into many different parts of the medical field,” she said. “You can go into labor and delivery, or you could be a bedside nurse; the list goes on, really.”

Ochoa said she plans to work outside of Klamath County to gain experience once she graduates but plans to return to her hometown to settle down and work. She was an active member of the Klamath Tribes Youth Council since she was six years old, she said and leaves one bit of advice for her fellow students entering high school. “Definitely watch your GPA because it could determine your path in life.”