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MLK Day of Service targets Roosevelt High School
Photos and Story by James Hill
On Monday, Jan. 16, Oregon Campus Compact and nine colleges including PCC will bring together an estimated 1,200 students to explore education as a civil right and to celebrate Roosevelt High School, a North Portland school on the rise.
The project is part of PCC’s 50th anniversary where the college has pledged to donate 50,000 hours of service to the community. PCC will partner with local community service efforts throughout the year to achieve its 50,000-hour goal as well as showcase and celebrate programs and individuals that symbolize PCC’s spirit of opportunity.
To celebrate Roosevelt’s success and to help continue building momentum, college students will serve at the school for MLK Day. Volunteer projects, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, will inspire further academic achievement at the school as well as prompt deep personal reflection amongst the participating college students. As a result, 4,800 hours of service will be donated to Roosevelt, which has an estimated economic value of $70,000 in the community.
Roosevelt High School is one of Oregon’s most ethnically diverse schools in the state. In Oregon, low income and black, Hispanic, and Native American students are 20-30 percent less likely to graduate than their white and Asian peers (Oregon Department of Education). In 2009, Roosevelt was Oregon’s worst performing school with a graduation rate of 39 percent (Portland Public Schools).
However, thanks to a federal grant, Roosevelt was awarded the opportunity to turn things around. To do this, they’ve extended their school day, offered greater support to teachers and students, hired more counselors and teachers, and hired a new principal. This year, Roosevelt’s graduation rate was 88 percent and among the highest performing schools in Portland.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact PCC’s Service Learning Program at (971) 722-4419.