Oregon Young Scholars Program

The program offers rising Oregon high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors a chance to experience college life firsthand. It takes place on the UO campus, where students will live in a dorm with a roommate and share meals, classes and projects with their peers, just as they would in college. 

Participants in OYSP are chosen from the eighth grade classes of several schools in Portland and Eugene-Springfield that serve students who are most underserved in higher education. The program focuses on providing this opportunity to students of color, students from homes with limited incomes, and students who are the first in their families to be college bound.

Each summer, OYSP brings these rising freshman, together with returning Young Scholars, for the summer on-campus residential experience. These Oregon high school students come to campus to start thinking about and working toward a college education. They attend intensive classes in math and writing and participate in an area of emphasis for specialized study, particularly in the disciplinary areas of STEM and fine arts. During this on-campus experience, students learn how to prepare for, apply to, and pay for college. Scholars also learn important skills in civic engagement, active reflection, and leadership. 

Powerful and empowering

Beyond achieving a college degree, OYSP prepares participants to be active members of their communities, ready to assume leadership roles in co-constructing a quality life for themselves, their neighbors and their peers.

The goals of the Oregon Young Scholars Program encompass ideas of building, expanding and stretching. They are:

  1. To develop and challenge the academic skills and college preparation of historically underrepresented students;
  2. To increase interest in college and the enrollment of African-American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic and Native American students, needs-based students, and other underrepresented students at the University of Oregon, and other colleges and universities;
  3. To build a cadre of young scholars who will participate in academic, social, community and cultural activities that increase their ability to flourish in an educational setting, improve study and analytical skills across the disciplines of writing, arts and sciences, and apply new lessons to their lives;
  4. To increase the interest of parents/families in higher education and encourage increased communication with teachers and administrators;
  5. To promote active civic engagement through volunteer experiences and lifelong learning;
  6. To foster a sense of community that is safe and accountable. 

The world of business has long recognized that the establishment of “project communities,” defined by team cooperation, leadership, cross-cultural understanding and a recognition of and appreciation for the diversity of perspectives, best informs successful outcomes. OYSP is organized around a cohort model, where such group collaborations are acknowledged as successful and invaluable in teaching critical skills. Given rapidly changing national demographics and our inextricable relationship as part of a global village, these mentored, on-campus cohort experiences will be invaluable to these Young Scholars as they pursue their future.


The Adinkra symbol chosen for this program, Sesa Woruban, a symbol of life transformation, combines two separate Adinkra symbols, the “Morning Star” which can mean a new start to the day, placed inside the wheel, representing rotation or independent movement. We believe that each Young Scholar, when provided the insight, support, and information about college success, has the capacity to, and will successfully pursue their studies, become actively involved in community service, and constantly develop their leadership skills to become valued and invaluable members of their communities, their state, their nation and the world.

For more information on OYSP, please call (541) 346-5343 or email bmarbury@uoregon.edu 


Contact Us

Oregon Young Scholars Program
Office of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
1258 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1258
Fax to:  541-346-5343