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Apr 13, 2016

Board of Directors, President Spotlight Kevin Huish

Kevin Huish has served as President of the Janus Board of Directors since 2013 and a Board member since 2008. We appreciate the time he took to answer our questions for this Board of Directors Spotlight.

What inspired you to join the Janus Board of Directors?

When I moved to Portland in 2007 from Central California, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity that would support my desire to give back to the community. One of the first things I noticed was the number of homeless youth I saw on the streets here. I felt a strong desire to do something to help change their lives. Dave Jarmin, a Janus Board member and an old friend and mentor, introduced me to Janus. I was immediately impressed with the mission and goals of Janus to help youth like those I saw on the street. I also liked the fact that Janus supports LGBTQ kids. I wanted those kids to know that the Janus Board is diverse and someone on the Board cares for them and looks out for their representation.

You have served three terms as Board of Directors President. What keeps you signing up each term?

It has been a good fit for me to be Board President. I like having the opportunity to work with everyone at Janus, the administration group and all the employees. It gives me a chance to learn more and engaged with the Janus family.

What are your goals as Board President this year?

I’d like to see the Janus name become better known in the community. Many people know the individual programs like Yellow Brick Road, Harry’s Mother or Cordero House. But they usually don’t know that these programs are part of the Janus organization. I want people to know that Janus is a major player in supporting youth through their diverse programs. By increasing the exposure of Janus, it will increase the financial contributions through corporations, groups and individuals.

What do you enjoy most in your role as Board President?

I enjoy interacting with the program directors and learning firsthand what they do every day to change the lives of so many youth. I am humbled by the work they and their staff do daily. It is intense work, approaching youth who live on the streets, providing a safe haven for youth who have been sex trafficked and teaching child development to young parents. Once at a Board meeting, we were listening to a young mom talk about her experience in the Insights Teen Parent program. After she spoke for a few minutes she stopped and said, "Why are you interested in my story? Who are you?" It was a pivotal moment for her to realize that there are people, like the Janus Board members, who are interested in her well-being. 

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Jan 18, 2018
Employee Spotlight—Washington Outreach Specialists

Every day our Outreach Specialists in Washington are busy serving homeless youth who have no one else to turn to. The team of three staff—Keeva Haverkost, Jessica Villasenor, and Jean Withers—work like a well-oiled machine, supporting each other so they can provide high quality service to youth. All of them are passionate about their work. Bettina Boles, Program Supervisor of The Perch and Yellow Brick Road Washington, says of her team, “Each person brings their unique contribution and special reason to work as an Outreach Specialist.” According to Bettina, the team has multifaceted roles— hosting The Perch—our drop-in center for youth—conducting street outreach for Yellow Brick Road, Washington and leading educational presentations that help the community better understand human trafficking and its impact in Clark County.

Jan 09, 2018
Youth Spotlight—Noah Schultz and his” Inspiring Action Tour”

Noah Schultz is a 25-year old graduate of the Hope Partnership program who served 7.5 years in the custody of the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA). While at the MacLaren Correctional Facility, Noah received two Bachelor of Arts degrees. Since his release in October 2016, he has become an outspoken youth advocate, with a passion to drive reform in our justice system, inspiring hope, action and humanizing the stories of the incarcerated. In November 2017, Noah completed a two-month “Inspiring Action Tour” at ten correctional facilities throughout the U.S. where he showed the award-winning documentary film about him, “Perception from Prison to Purpose.” He is co-owner of Forgotten Culture Clothing and co-founder of Verbal Escape. Noah spoke to us about his tour.

Dec 18, 2017
Sixth Grader Organizes Sock Drive For Janus Youth

Eleven-year old Quentin Brown organized a winter sock drive at his school, Cascade Heights Public Charter School, collecting 582 pairs of socks for our youth. This is his second year organizing the sock drive.

 Last year, Janus awarded Quentin the “Stars for Kids Award” for his contributions to our youth. Each year on his birthday, Quentin asks family members to give him gifts that he can donate to Portland’s homeless youth. Rather than getting toys and games, Quentin gets socks, water bottles, hats and scarfs that he packs up in a bin and brings down to the Janus administrative office. Last year, he even brought a little piggy bank with all of his savings and gave it to Janus. He has been doing this for seven years now. By thinking of the needs of others, he sets an example for his peers, family and community, showing the impact kids have on helping other kids. Quentin demonstrates that acts of kindness can be cultivated at a young age. 

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