PASSION IMPACT HOSTS LOCAL NONPROFIT SERVICE LEARNING PANEL IN 11TH GRADE AVID CLASS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Stefan Peierls, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Passion Impact
5106 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland OR 97206
Local Phone: (503) 912-4241
www.passionimpact.org
[email protected]


FEBRUARY 14, 2020 – Portland, OR – Passion Impact is excited to announce that on February 13, at 2:30 PM they hosted a Service Learning Panel with three local organizations in Mr. Dykman’s 11th grade AVID class. Since Spring 2019, Passion Impact and Mr. Dykman have been working closely to tie together the AVID curriculum and Passion Impact’s Service Learning curriculum. 11th graders in AVID are required to take on a service learning project, yet with all other requirements of AVID teachers from the school, the district, the state, and the federal government, it becomes difficult to implement a curriculum on which teachers have not yet been trained. Passion Impact serves as a critical partner for the service learning implementation and by hosting a Service Learning Panel, providing students with the necessary first hand research that is required by the curriculum. 

The locational focus on the Service Project is the Lents Neighborhood because many of the students in Mr. Dykman’s classes live in or around that neighborhood. Passion Impact invited three organizations that serve the Lents Neighborhood and overall SE Portland. Ana from Rose CDC Lents Youth Initiative, Todd from Jade District and APANO, and Leah from SE Uplift answered questions from over 30 students about their work, the need that is unmet, and how students can help alleviate that need. 

Over the subsequent three weeks, Adrianna Davis, Passion Impact’s High School Program Coordinator will facilitate reflections with Mr. Dykman’s classes to pinpoint the specific Service Learning Project that his 11th graders will host.

View photos from the event

ABOUT PASSION IMPACT

Passion Impact engages youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education! Passion Impact believes in a world where students claim community engagement as a tool of connectivity, curiosity, growth, and joy. Passion Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, working closely with Franklin High School, Portland Community College, and the students that attend both.


For information: https://www.passionimpact.org or
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (503) 912-4241


Passion Explorer

“I see firsthand how volunteerism can change someone’s life.”

Adrianna Davis

High School Program Coordinator, Activist, Lifelong Learner

Walking into the PI office on 51st and Powell, no longer will you only see a red-headed guy sitting next to the window. You will be greeted by a bubbly and warm smile from a new addition to the PI staff family, our High School Program Coordinator–Adrianna Davis. 

Growing up in Portland, Adrianna is upfront about the systemic oppression that she experiences as a queer person of color. “I understand the culture of Portland in the sense that it is progressive in its own ways and strives to be that. But it strives to be that in a way that is racially colorblind.” Instead of erasing and ignoring the negative impacts that marginalized communities face in the community, Adrianna is determined to acknowledge and advocate for those whose voices aren’t heard while serving the youth.

Despite double majoring in Microbiology and Sociology, Adrianna finds herself circling back to jobs that connect her back to people and the community. “I have these two random degrees that didn’t really mean anything,” she jokingly said, “I didn’t know what I wanted to do at first because I didn’t know what jobs existed in the world.” Working in the Cultural Resource Center (CRC) at OSU for three years opened the door for Adrianna to discover her desire to work closely with her community. Serving students through the CRC allowed Adrianna to learn a lot about herself and practice the skills that are needed in a job setting. After returning to Portland, Adrianna hopped around multiple jobs and couldn’t find one that clicked with her. “I used to work at a job that I hated,” she said, “I understand how important it is to have passion for your job.”

Adrianna has a personal connection with volunteerism that shows to her how significant of an impact it can bring. “My mom has a physical disability that bound her to her wheelchair. The two days of a week that my mom gets to go volunteer would be the happiest days of her life,” Adrianna said. Her mom “used to be depressed, but that is the only thing that can get her out of bed.” Being a witness to how connection with the community can change a person, she confessed, “I see firsthand how volunteerism can change someone’s life.” Indeed, a connection, a relationship, an experience coming out of a volunteering experience, even if it is only for one time, can change one’s life. Adrianna looks forward to build and solidify relationships between school, students, and nonprofits to further explore her passion.


STUDENT LEADERS HOST THEIR SOCIAL JUSTICE POSTER ART VOLUNTEER EVENT AT FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Stefan Peierls, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Passion Impact
5106 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland OR 97206
Local Phone: (503) 912-4241
www.passionimpact.org
[email protected]


JANUARY 30, 2020- Portland, OR – Passion Impact is excited to announce that on January 30, 2020, students in the Volunteer Event Program hosted the Social Justice Poster Art event. 30 students and three nonprofits invested their time into artfully displaying on posters social justice issues about which they care deeply. Representatives from YWCA, Renew Oregon, and SMYRC engaged in discussion surrounding their educational pathways and how to volunteer with their organizations. 

The ability for students to understand and question the nonprofit representative’s educational and career pathways provided them with the basis to write a Career Related Learning Experience (CRLE). Students need two CRLEs to graduate high school in Portland Public Schools and Passion Impact believes that engaging more intentionally with professionals helps build better relationships and connections to future careers for the students. 

After the event finished, the Franklin High School SUN team posted all of the artwork at the front of the cafeteria to promote unity throughout the student body. 

“It was so wonderful to see the youth at Franklin Passion Impact put this event together. I really appreciated being involved and having the opportunity to not only inform students about my organization, but also learn about them and have fun doing it. I appreciated the balance of direct service orgs and advocacy orgs. Thank you for having me!”

Madison Daily Hathaway, Renew Oregon Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator

 It was an amazing opportunity to get in touch with social activism groups and get different points of views on global warming, gender rights, and other such. Painting my poster was a different and unique experience that I enjoyed on a creative level.”

Maelyn Nguyen, Franklin High School Junior

This was my very first event that I helped organize. I had a lot of fun planning it and I was glad to see that so many non-profits showed up. I was also surprised to see that most of the people who signed up, actually showed up. We did run into some problems during the event, running out of paper plates for people to put their paint on, and not having the elevator pass after the event was over to take the baskets down the stairs. But all in all, the event was a success and we can learn off of those little problems we ran into.”

Helen Nikitin, Passion Impact Leader, Franklin High School Junior

View more pictures from the volunteer event.

ABOUT PASSION IMPACT

Passion Impact engages youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education! Passion Impact believes in a world where students claim community engagement as a tool of connectivity, curiosity, growth, and joy. Passion Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, working closely with Franklin High School, Portland Community College, and the students that attend both.


For information: https://www.passionimpact.org or
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (503) 912-4241


PASSION IMPACT ON-BOARDED THREE NEW BOARD MEMBERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Stefan Peierls, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Passion Impact
5106 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland OR 97206
Local Phone: (503) 912-4241
www.passionimpact.org
[email protected]


JANUARY 25, 2020 – Portland, OR – Passion Impact is excited to announce that on January 25, 2020, the Passion Impact Board inducted and trained three new Board Members: Bryna Cortes; Maiyee Yuan; and Helen Dillen. All women have had previous experience with Passion Impact either through sitting on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee or through partnering to support student volunteers. 

Bryna Cortes is jumping into the Vice President of Programs position while Maiyee Yuan is leading as the Vice President of Partners. Helen Dillen is joining the Development Committee and collaborating with the High School Program Coordinator to recruit students for the Purple Stride event she leads in August. Passion Impact welcomes these leaders to the forefront of the organization as they take on projects of their own.

ABOUT PASSION IMPACT

Passion Impact engages youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education! Passion Impact believes in a world where students claim community engagement as a tool of connectivity, curiosity, growth, and joy. Passion Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, working closely with Franklin High School, Portland Community College, and the students that attend both.


For information: https://www.passionimpact.org or
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (503) 912-4241


PASSION IMPACT HIRES HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM COORDINATOR ADRIANNA DAVIS

Contact:

Stefan Peierls, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Passion Impact
5106 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland, OR 97206
Local Phone: (503) 912-4241
https://www.passionimpact.org
[email protected]

JANUARY 6, 2020 – PORTLAND, OR – Passion Impact is excited to announce that on January 6th, 2020, Adrianna Davis began work as the first High School Program Coordinator. Her work with the Cultural Resource Centers at Oregon State University gave her the leadership and insight into managing multiple teams running culturally specific events. After graduating, Adrianna also led program curriculum development and implementation at The International School in Portland, OR. Her position will require the revision of all current programs with a social justice lense while also working with Passion Impact’s current in-school partners to design more curriculum connected workshops in AVID classes.

Passion Impact has been all volunteer-run and with Adrianna joining the team, partners, parents, and students will be provided with more intentional services. Relationships are core to Passion Impact with students at the center and Adrianna will elevate this through culturally responsive curriculum, empowerment, and support.

“I’m beyond excited to be joining the Passion Impact team. I can’t wait to get to know the students better and to serve as their High School Program Coordinator. I have a feeling we are going to do really great things this year!” – Adrianna Davis. Read more about Adrianna.

As Passion Impact continues to serve students in the Portland Metro area, the need for staff support is increasingly more vital. Consider making a gift today at www.passionimpact.org/support-students/

ABOUT PASSION IMPACT

Passion Impact engages youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education! Passion Impact believes in a world where students claim community engagement as a tool of connectivity, curiosity, growth, and joy. Passion Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, working closely with Franklin High School, Portland Community College, and the students that attend both.


For information: https://www.passionimpact.org or
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (503) 912-4241


ALL FRESHMAN MADISON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS VOLUNTEER WITH PASSION IMPACT AT MT. TABOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Stefan Peierls, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Passion Impact
5106 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland OR 97206
Local Phone: (503) 912-4241
www.passionimpact.org
[email protected]


OCTOBER 18, 2019 – Portland, OR – Passion Impact partnered with Friends of Mt. Tabor Weed Warriors and all freshman teachers at Madison High School to host a three hour cleanup event at Mt. Tabor on October 16, 2019. 

While the sophomores and juniors took their PSAT’s, 140 Madison High School freshmen were boarded onto buses and transported to Mt. Tabor where they received gloves and ponchos. After spending nearly three hours clearing ivy, picking up trash, and weeding hillsides, the students returned to the pavilion for hot chocolate. In true Passion Impact form, they all engaged in a reflection of the day to connect their service to skills they gained or sharpened and for which careers those skills could prepare them. A discussion around working outdoors versus indoors emerged which led students to vocalizing their polarizing views. This represented the purpose of this service learning opportunity in that students engaged in tactile activities to which their memories around career discussion were actively tied.

ABOUT PASSION IMPACT

Passion Impact engages youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education! Passion Impact believes in a world where students claim community engagement as a tool of connectivity, curiosity, growth, and joy. Passion Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, working closely with Franklin High School, Portland Community College, and the students that attend both.


For information: https://www.passionimpact.org or
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (503) 912-4241


PASSION IMPACT BOARD RECRUITMENT EVENING AT PORTLAND MERCADO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Stefan Peierls, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Passion Impact
5106 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland OR 97206
Local Phone: (503) 912-4241
www.passionimpact.org
[email protected]


OCTOBER 11, 2019 – Portland, OR – Passion Impact hosted a Board Recruitment Evening on October 9, 2020 from 6-8:30 at Portland Mercado. Over 30 students, volunteers, and prospective community members attended to learn more about applying to the Passion Impact Board.

Passion Impact is searching for Board Members who are, and represent, the students that they serve though shared cultural, background, and life experiences. Students are highly encouraged to apply to become Board Members in order to lead the Passion Impact strategically as well as within the programs. 

Portland Mercado’s space was donated for the event and three local food carts were hired to provide food for the event: Tierra Del Sol; Qué Bacano; & El Coquí. 

To see if you’re a good fit to serve on Passion Impact’s Board please visit www.passionimpact.org/join-our-board/  or email Stefan Peierls at [email protected] for additional information.

Meet our Board Member’s

ABOUT PASSION IMPACT

Passion Impact engages youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education! Passion Impact believes in a world where students claim community engagement as a tool of connectivity, curiosity, growth, and joy. Passion Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, working closely with Franklin High School, Portland Community College, and the students that attend both.


For information: https://www.passionimpact.org or
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (503) 912-4241


Re-organize, students said.

I want to talk about our new mission – We engage youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education. The five people in the room who created this had never met as a group, yet all had invested time in Passion Impact for multiple years. To spend eight hours of a Sunday collaborating in our office with the goal to build a basic strategic plan was a long-shot to say the least. We all believe in revolutionizing the education system. We all believe in the power of volunteerism and how it can catalyze youth to search for something greater than themselves. We all want to see youth become passionate about giving back to their community through their future careers. Connecting those three areas was already a no-brainer for all of us.

This was the first strategic plan that we’ve ever had and it was an exciting process! I received insight from multiple executive directors, researched on my own, and asked our current Board their thoughts on strategic planning meetings. We needed a jumpstart, a reorganization of what Passion Impact is and stands for. Our result was to focus on building a stronger foundation of capacity. I want to add that we also received input and edits from the remainder of our Board, our committees, and, most importantly, our students.

You may know that we have held 11 Volunteer Fairs over the past four years and that students were the main orchestrators of the planning, implementation, and evaluation of 10. In November, during the evaluation week of our the Fall 2018 Volunteer Fair, students came to the conclusion that despite their best efforts and despite the skills they gleaned from their experiences, they did not see or feel the impact that they wanted. Due to this, they suggested that we alter the programs spurring our refocus on only volunteer events. What this means is that we increase our relationship efforts with our nonprofit partners; we increase our exposure on a day-to-day basis in school classrooms and clubs; and we focus on connecting students to easily accessible ongoing volunteer opportunities. This has also prompted us to produce more volunteering events on school premises and to invite community members and partners to the school to engage students during the school day. To help organize these experiences, we now use GivePulse, which is a platform that helps students track and reflect on their volunteering ultimately resulting in an ongoing volunteer transcript. Students can continually refer to this transcript and their written reflections to assist in applying to scholarships, colleges, trade schools, and careers as they continue in their educational aspirations. We have since recruited over 100 Franklin High School students to use the platform and will continue to ramp up our recruitment efforts toward our summer programming.

Franklin Beautification was our first volunteer experience on FHS’s campus on April 4th. Over 40 students came out to clean up over 15 lbs of trash with eight teachers and staff. Two of our partners from the Friends of Mt. Tabor Weed Warriors and Cascade Forest Conservancy led groups throughout the school while engaging with students to talk about potential careers in the environmental industry. After volunteering, 15 students sat down and for 45 minutes, engaged in deep reflection while filling out their CRLEs (Career Related Learning Experiences) of which two are required for graduation. We are aiming to host our next beautification with more partners on May 22nd and, based on student suggestions, will split the volunteering into two shifts – during and after school to accommodate all students.

After students graduate this June, they may choose to attend Portland Community College, which many of our previous students have chosen to do. Having started our relationship with Portland Community College and their Community-Based Learning Department (CBL) over 3 years ago, our progress with the ACE (Advocate for Community Engagement) Program has been slow. Since January, however, we have on-boarded and fully trained two PCC Community Service Work-Study (CSWS) students (The Work-Study distinction, for those of you who may not know,  requires that students who apply for Work-Study must live in households that are designated low-income by the Federal Government). Our ACEs’ advertise volunteer opportunities, CBL classes, and CSWS positions to PCC students across the city in an effort to activate students’ full potential educational opportunities. Both of the students who hold ACE positions matriculated from our programs at Franklin High School and, as we continue the relationships with both schools, we aim to make this pipeline more accessible to the underserved youth with whom we work.

I want to give you a window into my heart to see my guiding beliefs because I feel that if you’re reading this, you may mirror the sentiments that I’m sharing with you. I believe that each student deserves to give their gift and to be encouraged by their educational institutions. I believe that students currently in our educational system are being held to standards that are not acceptable for the future that’s going to hit them square in the face. We need to provide them with the resources, experiences, and support that prepare them to exceed the expectations they have for themselves. This means we need to challenge their status quo. This means we need to meet them where they are and invite them to engage more. This means we need to make school more fun. This means we need to make the time outside of school more fun. This means we need to take the time to listen to what they want to do and to guide them in ways about which they may have never been aware. I believe that volunteering is the community taking on the burden of nurturing our youth and, as community members, we have the responsibility to lift up all students, especially those who have been disenfranchised due the systemic issues that exist in our American society.

As we move forward, I am committed to leading Passion Impact as an equitable organization. Every student is welcome and to open our doors in this way will are required to constantly revisit how we are including students, their parents, our partners, and our community in our decisions. It will continue to prove difficult and I am excited for the challenge.

Stefan Peierls
4/22/19




Finding Passion

When I was 12 years old, my parents broke the news to me that we were picking up everything we owned and moving to a new state: Oregon. I was devastated. The thought of leaving behind the life I knew and the relationships I had formed seemed heartbreaking. What was in store on this new time in my life? And more importantly, how would I fit in?

I was naturally quiet and pensive in nature. When you’re shy and reserved, it’s incredibly hard to make friends and to have your voice be heard. It seemed like the entire support system that I had created for myself would disappear forever with this move, and I would have to start all over. This seemed so daunting. As I was dropped off to my first day at a new school, I was met with a feeling of unease. Everything seemed so strange and different- and lonely. For months, I struggled to make friends with people who shared the same interests and values as me. I wondered if I would ever feel confident in myself and the gifts that I had to share.

One day, my parents suggested that I join a youth organization that they had been actively involved in when they were kids, known as Job’s Daughters International. The prospect seemed simple enough- join this club, meet new people, and develop friendships! In time, however, I learned far more than that. You see, this organization was centered around a concept they called “philanthropy.” We, as youth, were encouraged to volunteer within our communities, raise funds for social causes, and be in charge of our own events and activities. It was fun while learning leadership skills- and I was having the time of my life! Everything I thought I couldn’t do- such as hosting and planning statewide events, and giving presentations to hundreds of people- became a reality of me. My 8 years within Job’s Daughters International gave me the confidence to be a leader and enact change within the world around me. Not only did I forge lifelong friendships with fellow youths across the country, but I was able to see the passion and skills I had within me.

When I learned about Passion Impact and its mission, I was instantly reminded of my experiences as a youth volunteer. Volunteering shaped me into the person I am today, while simultaneously making an impact on lives around me. I learned to tap into my specific skill set and passions, to inspire and encourage others. I also gained insight into what makes me unique and what I want to spend my life doing.

Not every youth gets an opportunity like this. Various social, economic, and geographic obstacles can impact young people in their growth. Organizations like Passion Impact & Job’s Daughters International, however, can fill that gap and provide the resources these youth need to reach their full potential. As we journey into this years adventures with Passion Impact, I hope you get to learn more about the students involved and their stories. With your help and continued support, we can continue to provide youth an outlet to help their communities thrive, and to find their passions. Sometimes, a person’s true self is just bubbling under the surface- and needs a spark to let it come to life.