Elle Hoxworth, a senior majoring in sociology and political science at the University of Portland, is the first recipient of the Molly Hightower Endowed Scholarship, given annually to a junior or senior with a strong devotion to faith and commitment to service.
Hoxworth, of Pasadena, Calif, recently returned from Kakamega, Kenya, where she started a business as a volunteer with the Western Education Advocacy and Empowerment Program (WEAEP). The program works with women and their families in western Kenya through a variety of programs. It also was her second trip as part of the University’s new East Africa Initiative.
The Molly Hightower Endowed Scholarship was established by the Class of 2010 in memory of Hightower, who died in the January earthquake in Haiti while volunteering with special-needs orphans. No stranger to activism and volunteerism, from her first day at the University of Portland Hoxworth was motivated by the University’s mission of teaching, faith and service. In her three years on campus, Hoxworth has served locally, nationally and globally through the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership. Assisting people with disabilities in Portland, helping rebuild a flood-ravaged rural Oregon town, leading groups of UP students on trips with Habitat for Humanity, twice travelling to Kenya, exploring agricultural community issues – her experience is as deep as it is varied.