Saturday morning, 375 Helena High School graduates receive their diplomas at a 10:30 a.m. commencement ceremony at Carroll College.

Dr. Jennifer "Jen" DeVoe, who graduated from HHS in 1989, credits her success in the medical field to those who helped her along the way -- including a number of Helenans and HHS teachers who believed in her and acted as mentors.

To thank “the village” of people who helped her, she’s created a $1,000 Dorothy Harper Honorary Scholarship, which will be awarded to Eliza “Liza” Sautter (see companion story).

Harper welcomed DeVoe and her mother into her extended family at the time DeVoe's own home life was in the upheaval of a divorce, and DeVoe has never forgotten her generosity. 

DeVoe, who graduated from Montana State University in 1993 and Harvard Medical School in 1999, also received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford, where she earned a Master’s and Doctorate of Philosophy in 1998 and 2001, respectively.

Starting a residency at Oregon Health & Science University in 2001, DeVoe’s now on its faculty, focusing on health care for the vulnerable -- whether they be poor, racial minorities or without health insurance.

A series of strong HHS science teachers and mentors encouraged DeVoe “to dream big dreams,” she said in a phone interview.

A few of them include Doug Shenkle, Sandy Wardell and Ken Price -- who all taught her the importance of science.

In her speech, there’s a few tips she wants to share with graduates from author Hugh Mackay on leading a good life: listen attentively, apologize sincerely and forgive generously.

Reporter Marga Lincoln can be reached at 447-4083 marga.lincoln@helenair.com

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