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PCC gets $25,000 for creative older adults program

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PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Community College Foundation is the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Swindell’s Family Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation.

The grant will go toward the planning and development of the Life by Design Initiative at PCC. The initiative will be a model for expansion at other sites across Oregon and nationally. It is planned to be self-supporting within two to three years.

The program assists retirees in discovering their passion and purpose in their later life. By developing plans for the future, the retirees are able to enhance their contributions to the community. It includes both physical and virtual sites that will provide resources for life planning, lifelong learning, civic engagement and self-help for people at mid-life.

“There is an urgent need,” said Neal Naigus, community relations manager at PCC. “There is an unprecedented opportunity to engage our most innovative and community-minded institutions in harnessing this group’s time, experience and energy for the benefit of our communities. The Life by Design Initiative will meet this need by helping these ‘third-agers’ find direction and connection to meaningful roles.”

The goals of Life by Design are to help people over 50 in transition to “returnment” rather than retirement as people leave their primary careers and re-engage in activities that return value to communities. It will increase participation in high-impact paid or volunteer opportunities at certified non-profits to help utilize the growing older workforce.

Marilyn Webber (pictured), 54, works as the office services supervisor for NW Natural. She has worked for the company for 12 years and has been thinking about her retirement when she turns 62. She took a three-day Life by Design class during a weekend in 2005. She says it went beyond what she expected.

"It’s never too early to start planning," Webber said. “The class brought together many elements necessary to make my retirement a successful one. I was expecting the class to be the usual how to save, eat right and stay healthy. It went much further than that, giving us tools to not only set our goals but achieve them, and help us identify those activities that give us pleasure and fulfillment in life. The key is to establish good life habits prior to retirement.”

The Oregon Community Foundation, established in 1973, manages charitable funds donated by individuals, families, and businesses to enhance and support the quality of life in their communities. Today, the Foundation’s endowment consists of more than 1,160 funds with combined assets of $770 million.

The Foundation makes grants through an application process that involves local citizens in the review and evaluation of requests for funds. Application materials are available though the Foundation’s Portland office by calling 503-227-6846.

For more information on PCC’s Life by Design program, call 503-977-4122.

Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving approximately 88,200 full- and part-time students. For more PCC news, please visit us on the Web at www.pcc.edu/news. PCC has three comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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