It was a beautiful afternoon at Bauccio Commons on the University of Portland campus, where we held our first Symposium focused on Diversity, Equity, and Economic Stability. We started with a keynote from Stedman Graham, who emphasized the importance of knowing who you are in order to make the most your opportunities.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in a panel discussion led by KGW’s DJ Wilson. Our panelists, including: Dr.Alisha Moreland, Volunteers of America Oregon; James Thomas, Nordstrom; Charles Wilhoite, Willamette Management Associates; Rodrigo Lopez, Comcast; Dave Underriner, Providence, answered many wonderful crowd generated questions.
After a successful Diversity Symposium, VOA held its annual DePreist Award For Excellence Dinner, which honors an Oregonian who exemplifies the spirit of Community Service of the Late James and Ginette DePreist. This year, the award went to Rev. William Beauchamp, President Emeritus of the University of Portland. Along with honoring Rev. Beauchamp, our guests heard from two successful VOA clients, Thi and Jaclyn, who inspired the crowd to donate, almost reaching our goal of $150,000 - help us reach our goal by clicking the link above.
The event was MC’d by Brenda Braxton of KGW and included a wonderful performance honoring Rev. Beauchamp by Kellie Jones. Presenting sponsor Jordan Schnitzer, Rev. Poorman, and Board Chair Bruce Warner also encouraged greater giving, helping us raise vital funds for our social services. Thank you to all who came, showed support, and raised their paddle!
Isaiah Holt left prison knowing he didn't want to go back to gangs. VOAOR's Community Partners Reinvestment (CPR) program mentors, counselors, and services helped make it possible for him to become anything he wanted---he's a public speaker, body builder, and an electrician. Congratulations, Isaiah and CPR! Click on the link above to hear his story on KGW. Go to the CPR webpage to learn more about the program.