Alumni Corner – Abby Mason

Plato once said, “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words.”  Clearly, Plato never met someone like Abby Mason. She is bright, inquisitive, industrious, and a true delight. As Abby states it . . .

I was born in San Francisco but we moved to Montana when I was very young, to be closer to my mom’s family. I really can’t remember how much snow there was or how cold it was. We moved to Newport when I was six.

While attending Newport High School, I joined the Robotics Club. Because the organization was independently funded, we did not use the high school Cub mascot. We had our own: the YAK (Yaquina Applied Kinetics). We learned how to write grants and conduct fundraising events to support the club. Since no one else wanted to do it, I became YAK at fundraising events and whenever the club needed YAK to appear.

Although I enjoyed classes at Newport High, it was really the people who inspired me. One such person was the Junior Club President. He went on to OCCC doing the early college program that allowed high schoolers to take college classes for dual credit and graduate high school with a year of college already completed. That’s how I learned that right down the road from our high school was this awesome community college, practically inviting me to enroll and explore: to find out more about who I wanted to be.

Taking extra classes in high school gave me time for electives as a media aid and tech aid helping the librarian. As a senior, I also began assisting at the Marilyn Potts Guin Library, part of the Oregon State University (OSU) at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Upon graduation, I enrolled at OCCC in the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree program with the desire to become a librarian. The staff at OCCC helped me secure financial aid not only through federal grants but also through the Serve, Earn and Learn (SEAL) program helping in the Foundation office and continuing at the Guin Library. It was there that I first heard of Waverly, another mascot.

In 2017, I graduated from OCCC and transferred to OSU for a Business Information Systems: sort of a Computer Science degree and a Business degree mix. At the same time, I began working at the Valley Library on the OSU Corvallis campus. People ponder the future of libraries given the information age, but libraries are meant to adapt to what you are doing. They are a space for the community to gather; to contemplate. Today’s libraries loan books, equipment, laptops, and journal subscriptions, all through the inter-library loan system. Some even loan bicycles.

OCCC students, even if you do not know what you want to do, look at colleges close to you. See what they have to offer and what might be of interest to you. If you do that, you can tailor your experience at OCCC to give you the best footing for continuing your career path.

There is an important reminder posted in the Valley Library. “Ask for help before you need it.”  I think that can make a huge difference, but another thing I want to remind people is this: You can do more than you think you can.

Donors, your donations allow students to explore; to find their passion. You helped me and I am thankful.

Lucinda Taylor, past-Foundation Development Director states that Abby, “Embodied the Spirit of Waverly.”  I think so too. Even Plato would have had to agree.

Thank you, Abby. We hope your fellow alumni will share their stories by contacting the OCCC Foundation office at