Shannon Hammond ’19 didn’t really plan to go to college in her backyard.
But when you grow up in Forest Grove and want to be a doctor, Pacific University’s stellar reputation in the health professions is pretty tempting.
Hammond has been interested in healthcare since junior high, when a friend’s brother was diagnosed with brain cancer. She’s volunteered at Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital, and she hopes that her biology major and chemistry minor will lead her to graduate school and a career helping people.
“I was playing with the kids, and they found out I was a jumper and started asking me to teach them how to jump.”
– Shannon Hammond '19
In the meantime, Pacific is letting her broaden her horizons, even while she lives at home.
She took part in an education travel course to Ecuador, where she got to immerse herself in another culture, study her Spanish (a second minor), and provide some community service along the way.
As part of the class, she volunteered at an elementary school in Quito, where she played with kids from low-income families and taught them about her other passion: jumping.
Hammond, who competes in the heptathlon, hurdles and other jumping events on the track and field team, holds Pacific’s record for women’s indoor high jump, long jump and triple jump, as well as for the women’s outdoor high jump.
“They would get super excited to have all this attention,” she said. “I was playing with the kids, and they found out I was a jumper and started asking me to teach them how to jump.”
Hammond says she is lucky to have her parents’ support in pursuing her education, but an academic scholarship and Pacesetters Scholarship were both instrumental in bringing her to Pacific — where outstanding academics, athletics, and the opportunity to travel and give back are getting her ready for tomorrow.■
Your gift to Pacific University can support students like Shannon Hammond '19 in expanding their horizons through valuable, outside-the-classroom experiences. Make a gift today to support student travel, athletics, and other co curricular activities.
This story first appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Pacific Magazine. For more stories, visit pacificu.edu/magazine.