CenturyLink recently awarded Christian Inkley, son of CenturyLink’s Network Technician, Sam Inkley and his wife, Diana, a 2012 Century Link Employees’ Children Scholarship.
CenturyLink received more than 400 applications from the company’s 37-state operating territory. Of those 400 applications, 80 scholarships were awarded.
“Each of the winners were selected for exemplary academic accomplishments, along with outstanding involvement in community programs and activities,” said Doug Patterson, CenturyLink’s area operation manager.
Christian Inkley is not an Eagle Point resident. Nor did he attend school in Eagle Point, but nevertheless he has connections to Eagle Point and is an outstanding example of what programs such as 4H and FFA can mean to a student.
The Independent’s first story about Christian was in 2005. It was his first year in 4H where he was a member of the Valley View Livestock Club. That first year he participated in the Jackson County Fair was with his pig. And participate he did. He was named Reserve Grand Champion and made news for selling his 260-lb hog for a whopping $42-lb. That was especially rewarding because he was a first year showman.
A year or two later Christian added the Spring Fair to his project list where he started showing lambs. And again that first year he had the Reserve Grand Champion, something he repeated in 2009 and in 2011. This year, as a senior in the Crater High School FFA program for the third year, he earned the honor of Grand Champion with his lamb.
Eagle Point resident Olive Lansburgh was a horse show steward and knew Christian’s mother as she showed and trained Arabian horses. That relationship quickly grew to include Christian’s 4H activity. Every year since 2005 Lansburgh has purchased Christian’s backup project animal. She has it cut, wrapped and frozen until time for the D9 Foundation Auction, when she donates at least a half to be auctioned to benefit the foundation’s projects.
In 2011 Christian was a member of the Crater Ag Mechanics team that won first place at state and went to the nationals in Indianapolis where the team earned a silver award.
Christian will use the $1,000 CenturyLink scholarship to begin his advanced education at Rogue Community College where he hopes to earn a degree in Fire Science. The scholarship is renewal based on maintaining a 3.0 grade point average, said Christian.
Christian has currently been focused on becoming a volunteer firefighter with Jackson County Fire District 3, where his uncle Barry Hoffman spent some 30 years and where his uncle Dusty Hoffman is currently a force member.
To become a volunteer or an intern at FD 3 is one of the most, if not the most, grueling tests in Oregon. And at 18 and just 125 lbs., it has been a challenge for Christian, but if the will to succeed and pure determination rules, he will have passed the test last week. He said the test matches that for a regular fireman.
Christian has also received the Morris Foundation Scholarship, Oregon Hunter’s Association and Crater Foundation Scholarships. He will also receive the Crater FFA Alumni Scholarship this week.