Oregon, GtCNN’s home state, stands 48th in the nation in on-time high school graduation. Students who make it to college in Oregon complete school at one of the lowest rates in the nation. For youth in state care - young people who are homeless, in foster care, or the juvenile system - high school completion and college-going rates are dismal. In the Portland Metro area, more than 12,000 youth are in state care. These young people have the same aspirations as their peers, but often lack the resources to achieve them.
This fall, GtCNN will launch PDX Bridge, a collaborative project that will provide these young people a comprehensive bridge from high school to first-year college completion. PDX Bridge will help address the critical state issue of educational equity by working with students who are in state care, many of whom also come from traditionally underserved populations.
PDX Bridge is a coalition of six local service providers, four government agencies, two school districts, and one college. Together, we will build a collaborative strategy connecting existing services to provide Bridge students a pathway to college and career success. Wraparound services will focus on helping students successfully complete their first year of college, a strong predictor of future postsecondary success.
By working closely with our partners, we will identify and enroll youth in the fall. In the winter and spring, we will provide dual enrollment opportunities and intensive supports through Portland Community College. To date, GtCNN has secured generous funding from the Miller Family Foundation and Mae and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust. We will work to secure additional support from foundations and individual supporters this spring and summer, with the intention to serve 300 young people over the next three years.