The capital of the state of Oregon, Salem is also at the center of the Willamette Valley. With a population of about 160,000, the Cherry City is less than an hour away from the state’s largest city of Portland. But for those with a late-night craving, it is even more important for being the home of Kettle Brand potato chips. Another claim to fame is that it was the setting for one of the few films to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director and Screenplay). That was 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was filmed at the Oregon State Hospital. When it comes to education, the Willamette Education Service District has coordinated the Willamette Promise, which focuses on both career and college readiness and proficiency-based dual credit opportunities. Those dual-credit courses, which count toward one’s college requirements, can bring needed savings to families and give students a jump start on their peers once fully enrolled.