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Jul 02, 2015

Youth Voices – In Their Own Words

We checked in with former Food Works youth Prudence Eca who is currently studying at Oregon State University. He has received a Janus Scholarship for Success in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he’s the first in his family to attend college in America and recently became a US citizen. Prudence was kind enough to answer a few questions to help us raise awareness about the scholarship program!

Tell us about your past involvement with Janus.

I was part Food Works, and being part of Food Works helped me grow myself, my community, my business and my farm. I really gained a lot working with Food Works from activities such as ice breakers, harvesting salad, working at the PSU Saturday Market and resume building workshops. Food Works aided me in becoming well-spoken and hardworking, it helped me network with many people in my community and beyond.

What did receiving the Janus scholarship mean to you?

Receiving the Janus Scholarship meant I could worry less about making ends meet for paying for college. It made it easier and also gave me more hope that I could achieve and it’s up to me. Thanks to Janus I have been able to continue my higher education at Oregon State University, I am studying to be an Industrial Engineer. My future plans I am not certain of yet, but when I graduate I want to work with education or the process of education. This scholarship has done wonders for me, it’s made things I used to dream about become the reality I live.

What advice would you give to other youth thinking about going to college?

Advice I would give to people thinking about going to college, is to explore and research what it is they want to do, and not to worry if you don’t think you know what you want to do in the future. Go to college it will open more options for you and help you make future decisions. It’s a great learning experience.

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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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