Thompson- Patch Scholarship Fund, Salem, Oregon

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Phone: (503) 779-5414

About Us

Our History

In 1976, the Pauline Memorial AME Zion Church was nearly destroyed by arson. Because of this event, Dorothy Patch, long time school teacher and community activist and Rev. Nellie Thompson, founder of the Pauline Memorial AME Zion Church, began to work together to find ways to change Salem’s racial climate.

These two pioneers in racial diversity have lifted a strong voice for racial justice and equality in Salem. ​ Motivated by their courage and leadership, the Nellie Thompson-Dorothy Patch Scholarship Fund was established in 1993 to help students of racial and/or ethnic origin in Salem achieve their dreams.

The Nellie Thompson-Dorothy Patch Scholarship is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) fund located in Salem, Oregon. Our Fund is named after two champions who worked for scholarship justice and equity in our community. ​

To honor their legacy, the Thompson-Patch Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to underrepresented students of color in the Salem-area to support their pursuit of college or trade school. Since 1995, the Fund has assisted hundreds of students who have faced obstacles in their lives and who have shown promise and resilience by overcoming adversity.

EVENTS: Annual scholarship awards presentation celebrations are held and attended by the board, the student recipient's, and their family and friends.


Reverend Nellie B. Thompson

November 12, 1919 - July 15, 2012

Dorothy T. Patch

August 20, 1908 - December 2, 2005

Frequently Asked Questions

The Nellie Thompson-Dorothy Patch Scholarship Fund was established to provide scholarships to graduating high school students from the Salem-Keizer School District and Chemawa Indian School who identify as Native American, Latinx, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, or otherwise as a person of color.

Students that show promise over the last years of school are favored for these scholarships. We look for students that have “turned their lives around” and show promise. This Fund can help a few of these promising youth who find it difficult to obtain education and training beyond high school.

In awarding the scholarships, the selection committee will be particularly interested in improvement in academic performance, extracurricular activities, and future academic and career goals. Grade point average will be considered but is NOT a major factor in our decision to award a scholarship.

From year to year, the awards range in number and amount based on the assets of the scholarship fund, and the student needs as identified by the all volunteer Board. The Fund provides scholarship monies to the institution or trade school of the student’s choice for costs directly associated with their continuing education. Scholarships typically range from $500 to $1,500.

There is a financial incentive when you donate to an IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) public charity, as you are able to take an income tax charitable deduction. Donating to nonprofit organizations is a great way to give back to the community while also supporting great causes you believe in. The Federal Tax Status of the Thompson- Patch Scholarship Fund is: 501(c)(3)
Federal EIN: 26-0268284

We award three special scholarships to recognize:
  • Community Engagement
  • Indigenous Community Participation
  • BIPOC Educational Desire

Thompson-Patch Scholarship

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