San Antonio student earns hefty Oregon State ROTC scholarship, headed to Alamo Bowl

On Dec. 29, fans of Beaver Nation will invade the Alamodome in San Antonio for the football team’s Alamo Bowl matchup against Texas. Among those fans will sit the Quidachay family, including San Antonio’s Smithson Valley High School senior Kendi Quidachay, who recently received a $180,000 ROTC scholarship to Oregon State University.

From left to right, Petty Officer 1st Class John Hensen, local recruiter FC2 Feliciano Torres, Kendi Quidachay, Commanding officer of the San Antonio Navy Recruiting District Jason Webb and Senior Chief Petty Officer Phillip Wygans.
Photo courtesy of KGNB 1420 AM New Braunfels, Texas

The sum will be more than enough to cover Kendi’s college education. She’s earned it.

During her first few high school years, Quidachay put together a strong resume: school leadership, community involvement, National Honors Society treasurer, school and church volunteer work, a Spanish and science club member, a math tutor, a 3.91 GPA and solid ACT scores.

“My older sister got a scholarship three years ago to Washington, and I saw what it did for her, so I made sure to qualify and apply,” Quidachay said. “There are a lot of scholarships out there.”

Oregon State University is her first choice. After all, she’s a legacy. Her parents, Vince (’88) and Karen (’89), are both Beaver graduates and speak highly of their alma mater. The university also has a recognized ROTC program, and Kendi is currently a junior ROTC member.

Quidachay, a unique name in itself, originates from Guam. In fact, Kendi’s father and grandparents are full Guamanian, and her father and grandfather served in the Navy. The Quidachay’s are a military family, to say the least.

An aspiring engineer

There’s one more thing that attracted Kendi to Oregon State: its nationally recognized engineering program. She says civil engineering is her target, has heard about the success of graduates and hopes to serve in the military as a civil engineer when her education is complete.

For many people, physics is the bane of their existence. They either get it or they don’t. Kendi gets physics — and math and science and everything that’s supposed to be hard — primed to be an engineer.

“It’s a great field,” she said. “I’m taking calculus and physics now. I like the whole buildings and bridges thing, designing structures.”

When speaking about her future, the senior is nervous, yet excited. She already sees what doors are about to open for her with the ROTC scholarship. She’ll be required to serve five years in the military when she finishes college, which could end up becoming an engineering career.

“You’re an officer in the military right out of college, it’s a great future,” Kendi said. “I’d like to go on a ship. I’d like to leave my options open. With an engineering degree, you can do a lot, so we’ll see what jobs they can offer me.”

As far as the decision to attend Oregon State, Kendi hasn’t fully made up her mind. She’s applied to multiple schools, but says Oregon State is still at the top of her list.

She’s taking her time, however. After all, college is a big decision. That said, Beaver Nation would be lucky to have her.

By Colin Huber

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