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Mar 26, 2014

Youth Voices – In Their Own Words

Alex has been part of our Imani family for just under three years. After a recent field trip to the KGW-TV studios, he took the time to write about his experience so we could share it here. Thanks Alex!

My name is Alex and I am an 18 year old client at the Imani Residential program. Since I am going to be graduating from the program soon and transitioning back into the community, Imani has been helping me to work hard to learn life and job skills. My case manager at Imani helped me get enrolled in Open Meadow Pathway program in North Portland. This program helps me learn job skills, write resumes and cover letters, write professional emails, and will even help me find a job eventually.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a tour and presentation at KGW Studios in Portland. While I was there I learned a lot about how a news studio runs and how many people have to work together to make the programs run. I also learned a lot about what journalists do and all the technical parts of putting things on the air. One of the anchors, Russ Lewis gave me a lot of information about his career and about how he got to where he is today. I was also able to meet a graphic designer team who showed me some of the videos that they have made while working there.

What I liked the most about my day at KGW was seeing the graphic designers work and learning things I didn’t know before, like the weather person using a remote to change the screens on the air. I was also able to watch the newscast from behind the scenes as it happened in the studio. Who knows? Maybe someday you will see me on your local news station!


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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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