News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Roberts takes helm at Sisters GRO

With the local scholarship season about to open for the class of 2024, the Sisters Graduate Resource Organization (GRO), which manages the program, has announced a new executive director, Regan Roberts, who started in mid-August.

Roberts is taking over the duties left by the previous director Laura Kloss who served for the previous two years.

A Sisters resident since 2005, Roberts is ecstatic about the chance to fill the role for GRO, which is part-time.

"The GRO position felt too good to be true as a blend of everything I was looking for a position that would utilize my technical and financial skills, my love of problem solving, my need to interact with a variety of people in the community, while also doing good and without taking away my priorities of being a mom."

Roberts and her husband Dave have two children, Colby, a sophomore, and Tucker, who is in seventh grade.

Prior to taking the GRO job, Roberts worked at Sisters Athletic Club as the finance and human resources directors. She has a degree from the University of Washington in Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences, but now says she should probably have majored in accounting. She has also worked as a tutor, a bank teller, and an office manager.

In her first months on the job, Roberts has been focused on the transition to a new system for the scholarship application process.

"Over the past years GRO has learned that the initial software chosen wasn't the best fit for the organization so I have spent the first few months implementing a new software that we believe will be so much easier not only for student applicants but for our gracious donors and their scholarship review committee members. There are so many volunteers that make this organization successful and we value their time and hope this new process will reflect our commitment to them."

The applications for this year's senior class opens on January 23 with scholarships from 70 different local donors. Last year over $250,000 was awarded to individuals from the class of 2023 and Roberts expects a similar amount this year. Some scholarships included numerous recipients.

There are at least six new scholarships being offered this year, according to Roberts. Two are coming from Shaunette White and her family. One is the High Desert Chocolate Athletic Scholarship and the other is called the White Family Pay it Forward Scholarship. White is hosting a Casino Night March 9, 2024 to support GRO.

After nearly six months on the job, Roberts is enjoying the work and is looking forward to her first scholarship season.

"It's going great for me so far. I love being involved in such meaningful work that will directly impact students in our community. The board members are all so passionate and giving with their time. I'm looking forward to the next half of my year and getting to know the students and their families and seeing their post-high school plans develop and be supported by all of our generous donors."

With the application window about to open Roberts wants seniors and their families to understand that with such a wide variety of awards, there really is something for everyone who plans to go on to any type of further education.

"Whether it is traditional college, trade schools or other technical programs we have scholarships to match," she said. "For the last few years every student who completed the application process received at least one award."

The application process doesn't start until Tuesday, January 23, but families are encouraged to visit the website at


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