Ben Linder Scholarship Fund of Oregon

Students are eligible for this scholarship opportunity if they:

  • Are enrolled in the PCC Engineering program
  • Have a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Preference given to students with financial need
    Applicants can choose to apply for this scholarship if they meet the eligibility criteria listed above and answer additional questions and/or submit additional materials as required by this scholarship.

More about Ben Linder:
Ben was a young man from Portland who graduated as a mechanical engineer from the University of Washington in 1983. He moved to Nicaragua to serve the people with his skills in whatever way he could. He chose Nicaragua because its 1979 revolution had resulted in a government that was very responsive to the needs of the people, especially the poor. At the time that Ben went to Nicaragua, the U.S. government was sponsoring a guerilla war, trying to bring down that democratically elected government.

Ben worked in a mountainous, rural area in northern Nicaragua where guerrilla attacks were common. He worked with the local community of El Cuá, and with other international volunteers, and built the first hydroelectric plant, which came on line in 1986. While living in El Cuá he participated in vaccination campaigns, using his talents as a clown, juggler and unicyclist to entertain the local children, for whom he expressed great affection and concern. Ben and the other volunteers also built a machine shop using the hydro power. That shop now produces small agricultural implements, parts for new hydro and potable water projects, and provides general welding and machining services to the local community. In planning their work, Ben and the other project workers always sought to maintain and enhance the natural environment as well as train and employ local workers.

In April 1987, while working on a second hydro project, “Contras,” armed anti-government guerrilla forces, killed Ben and two Nicaraguan co-workers. Ben was 27 years old. His Nicaragua project goes on . . . continued and expanded with much local as well as international support and love.

Supplemental Questions
  1. How do issues of environmental and social justice influence your engineering career goals?