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Apr 12, 2018

Board of Director Spotlight—Melissa Bauer

Melissa Bauer serves as the Janus Advancement Chair and has been a Board member since 2015. She is a general partner in a family-owned real estate business.

What inspired you to join the Janus Board of Directors?
"I am from a big family and remember my mom saying that she enjoyed her children’s teenage years the most. I feel the same way; I love teenagers. For 11 years, I volunteered at my daughters’ schools as an Auction Committee Chair, room mom, and field trip-chaperone and thought, what am I going to do when they are done with school? After looking at several non-profits, their work and who they served, I decided to join my love for the teenage years by helping youth needing support. I spoke to my brother, who is on the Janus Board of Directors and he told me about the mission and work of the agency. He brought me to the Janus Dinner in the Vines and I knew then that serving on the Janus Board was a good fit with my personal interest in supporting youth. I am thrilled I made that decision. In doing this work, I find that I get back so much more than I could possibly give and am grateful that Janus provides the avenue to assist this vulnerable community of youth."

Why is it important to invest in your community?
"I was raised by parents that silently gave to many programs and people in need. I was taught to be grateful for what I had and to help others that are in need. My parents modeled this behavior in serving others through our schools, church and volunteering. I, too, believe it is everyone’s responsibility to give back to their community and take care of each other. I was lucky and had a fortunate upbringing, but I know that there are many who do not have these same opportunities. I want them to know that there are people who care for them and want to give them opportunities to improve their well-being."

What do you hope to accomplish as Advancement Chair?
"I am interested in finding creative ways to raise funds for our facilities to make them comfortable for our youth.

Similar to my parents, Janus quietly serves the youth in Portland and SW Washington. I want to increase awareness of Janus' work within the community, especially with the local businesses and high school students. I would like to find ways to get high school students involved in helping their peers who have not had the same opportunities as them. If we can raise awareness with these two groups, we can help additional youth feel important, cared for and empowered to reach their full potential as adults."

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Apr 19, 2018
Employee Spotlight—Chelsea Willis

Working with LGBTQ youth on a farm had been a dream of Chelsea Willis and was the basis of her college thesis at Naropa Institute. “All the things I wrote about, I am doing now at the Rivera House,” says Chelsea. “While the Rivera House doesn’t have a farm, there are raised beds where residents have the opportunity to grow vegetables and herbs.” Chelsea, too, has been able to grow—professionally— by combining her talent and expertise in challenging, new ways. According to Deven Edgerton, Rivera House Director, “Chelsea has been a crucial employee in getting the Rivera House up and running.”

Apr 05, 2018
​Youth Spotlight—Rose Edwards

“Never give up,” is the motto Rose carried with her during her years as a homeless youth in Vancouver, WA. After over five years of homelessness, struggling with addiction and ending up in jail repeatedly, Rose turned a new leaf on life. At 24, she is a supervisor at Papa Murphy’s, has a one-bedroom apartment, spends time with her six-year old son and is completely clean.

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