The PCC Board of Directors have sworn in and appointed Kali Thorne Ladd as the newest Board Member for the college. Ladd will be representing Zone 2 which represents the northeast border of the PCC district, going roughly from Northeast Portland, to North Portland and up to Columbia County along the east side of HWY 30 to St. Helens and Columbia City. The PCC Board is responsible for the budget and overall policy direction of the college.
Ladd works in the City of Portland’s Mayor’s Office as the Education Strategies Director overseeing policy and direction for the Mayor’s key education initiatives including the Summer Youth Connect and Future Connect. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Harvard University in Education Policy and Management.
Her involvement in Future Connect – a partnership that has been very successful at PCC, is where Ladd was first introduced to the college and prompted her to submit for the vacant board position. According to Ladd, “I believe education is a game changer, it changes lives and it can break the cycle of poverty for generations. I’ve witnessed this in my own family. The opportunity to support PCC as an institution that educates so many in the community, is special, and for me to help PCC serve more students is an added bonus.”
One of Ladd’s goals as a board member is to increase retention rates, particularly for youth of color and first generation college students, plus increase access points for students to attend while helping secure stable funding without large increases in tuition.
Ladd is also very concerned about the cost of education, “the cost of attending college is a huge barrier that worries me, and I’m dedicated to increasing financial support for students. Youth can get lost and drop out when systems aren’t in place to financially support and keep them engaged.” She is also devoted to strengthening community ties for the college, “one of my goals as a board member is to help the community see PCC as fully theirs, that it is part of the fabric of the community for learning, dialogue and gathering. PCC is a resource for workforce development as well as gaining credit in high school, hearing a thought-provoking lecture, or earning a degree. I want the people who come on campus, regardless of race or socio-economic status… to feel it’s their home.”
Note: Elections are typically held in odd-numbered years, but when a vacancy occurs mid-term, as in the case of the passing of Harold Williams, the long-time PCC board member who passed away in July of this year, the Board appointed Ladd to fill out the term until the next election – May 2013.