The Chehalis Foundation has announced the creation of the Carmelita and Marion Barr $20,000 scholarship fund to help provide educational opportunities for students pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and/or math fields.

“This is an important day in our community because every dollar in the Carmelita and Marion Barr Scholarship fund represents an opportunity to impact somebody’s life,” said Jenny Collins, executive director of the foundation.

The first $5,000 renewable scholarship was awarded to W.F. West High School 2020 graduate Daniel Santiago on Aug. 17. He will be starting off his education at Centralia College and then he intends to transfer to the University of Washington to study molecular genetics. 

“This scholarship is a huge blessing and answered prayer. I am so grateful to everyone that helped make this possible. A special thanks to the Barr family for their generosity, I will not take this for granted,” said Santiago. 

The children of Carmelita and Marion Barr decided to create this scholarship fund to honor the legacy of their parents who believed in the importance of education. 

“Carmelita and Marion also believed in investing in the youth as they are the fabric of the community’s future growth and success,” stated the press release from the Chehalis Foundation. “They grew up during the depression era and worked hard to achieve goals.”

After Marion worked to put himself through college and graduated with a degree in chemical engineering, the couple lived in the Pacific Northwest and made a home in Chehalis after retirement. 

The Chehalis Foundation was established about 17 years ago with the goal of improving the community by supporting projects in the city and supporting academics in Chehalis schools.

Recently retired Chehalis board member Dr. Linda Kay Smith has helped the foundation award scholarships to local students. As of this year, the Chehalis Foundation has awarded over 400 students scholarships totaling almost $2 million over the years, according to the Chehalis Foundation. 

For more information about the scholarship or about the Chehalis Foundation, email Executive Director Jenny Collins at 

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