Thompson- Patch Scholarship Fund, Salem, Oregon

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Phone: (503) 779-5414

Volunteer Board

Benny C. Williams Director


Benny is Director of the Thompson-Patch Scholarship. He recently joined the team due to his wish to strengthen the organization's presence and prominence. To him, the organization is a means of providing financial and mentorship help to students of the BIPOC community.

Benny's hometown is Salem, Oregon and a fun fact about him is that he's a Historian of AA history and a politics junkie.


Benny C. Williams, Director

Our Board Members

We are an all volunteer board with minimal operational expenses. We are dedicated to improving lives and communities.

Kenneth F. Bierly

Ken is Vice-President of the Thompson-Patch Scholarship. He joined the team around 2011 due to his wish for others to have the opportunities that he received from education. To Ken, the organization recognizes that the opportunity to achieve more is not shared equally and the organization can help in a small way to provide opportunities for those with less access. Ken's hometown is Salem, Oregon and a fun fact about him is that he has worn Birkenstocks every day for the last 15 years.

John Savage

John is the Treasurer of the Nellie Thompson-Dorothy Patch Scholarship Fund for college-bound students who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian, or Pacific Islander. John is the President of the Willamette Valley Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon. As Chapter president, he leads native plant hikes in Oregon’s natural areas, organizes the Chapter’s Nature Talk and Nature Walk series, and oversees the administration of the Chapter’s two scholarship funds for Oregon college and university students, among other duties. John serves as treasurer for Straub Outdoors – one of the premier outdoor education program providers in Oregon – and teaches English for refugees. John also serves on the Advisory Board of the Elakha Alliance and is a CERT volunteer. John worked in the energy field for nearly 40 years. He served as Director of the Oregon Department of Energy from 1993 through 2001 and was an Oregon Public Utility Commissioner from 2003 through 2017.

Linda M Ringo-Reyna

Linda is board Secretary of the Thompson-Patch Scholarship. She joined the team around 2014 due to her wish to make a difference in students lives. The T-patch organization to her signifies care, sincerity, and a means to reach out and up to people who reach back. Linda's hometown is in Seattle Washington.

Sonya Moody-Jurado

Sonya Moody-Jurado is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. Sonya has 25+ years of working and advocating for Native American youth as an Education Specialist for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. Sonya earned a B.S. in Psychology/Family Studies from Corban University. She is a past school board member of Chemawa Indian School, and currently sits on the American Indian/Alaskan Native Advisory Committee, ODE’s Community Advisory Group, Willamette University Native American Advisory Committee, Tribal Representative to Government to Government Education Cluster and Governor’s Healthy Schools Reopening Council.

Endy Zarate

Endy is a board member of the Thompson-Patch Scholarship since late 2020. He joined the team due to his passion of helping underrepresented students and to be able to assure students on their path to higher education. To him, the Thompson Patch Scholarship means a second chance for students who are often overlooked by other organizations and foundations, but are just as capable and passionate. Endy's hometown is Salem Oregon, and a fun fact is that he can I can lick his elbow.

Vanessa Suarez

Vanessa is a rising senior at Willamette University with a major in Business Administration. As a Thompson-Patch Scholarship recipient herself, Vanessa was excited to give back by serving as an intern last summer. Through this experience she hopes to gain more tools that will further her professional and career goals while insuring that more students have more access to this opportunity.

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