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Nov 08, 2016

Board of Director Spotlight: Tom Fink Receives 2016 Simon Benson Award

For Janus Board member, Tom Fink, philanthropy is about more than just donating time or money. For him, it is about making a difference in his community. One of Tom’s favorite quotes is by Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” This is a concept that Tom has embraced. “I feel like I have been blessed and I want to give back. There could have been so many things that might have derailed my life. But I was lucky enough to have missed those obstacles and want to help others less fortunate,” says Tom. His tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed. On November 3, in recognition of his contributions, Portland State University (PSU) and the PSU Foundation presented Tom with a Simon Benson Award at their gala dinner.

The Simon Benson Awards Dinner is an influential forum celebrating philanthropy in Oregon. Since 1999, the gala has raised over $10 million in support of Portland State University. The award was created by PSU in 1999 as a means of recognizing individuals, like Tom, who are dedicated to philanthropy.

The first in his family to attend college, Tom credits his PSU education with enriching his life and opening the world to him. Since his graduation in 1971 and establishing his career, Tom has been giving back to other PSU students. His PSU Telefund Scholarship assists students each year in pursuing their degrees at PSU. The Telefund employs up to 35 students who reach out to alumni and friends each year—to increase annual support for scholarships, program development and research. Tom believes that the Telefund work is fundamental in keeping the wheels of philanthropy turning into the future. The recipient of Tom’s Telefund Scholarship this year is Alexandra Van—a senior studying sociology who overcame significant challenges to realize her dream of finishing high school and earning a college degree.

Tom has been serving Janus for over 30 years. He is a past president and is the Scholarship Chair. He also serves on the St. Mary’s Academy and the PSU Foundation Boards. Through his generosity, Tom has made—and continues to make—a difference in the lives of so many youth.

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May 22, 2017
Scholarships Awarded To Our Youth

On May 17th, the Janus Board of Directors, staff and community members honored 15 youth in our programs who were recipients of our scholarship awards. Now in its sixteenth year, the scholarships open the door to education for our youth by helping to pay for school expenses such as tuition, books and rent.

This year’s scholarship recipients are from an array of Janus programs including Insights Teen Parent Program, Imani House, Changes, Annex I, Harry’s Mother and Hope Partnership. Special thanks to Robert Gootee and Moda Health for their support in launching the Scholarship Fund in 2001 and to Joanne Senders—a generous donor who established the Joanne Senders Scholarship Fund.  

Photo: Left to right: Jeremy Ericksen, Thomas Spisla, Christian Ford, Griffin Thomas, Robert Gootee, Gustavo Portillo-Soto, Fariborz Pakseresht, Dennis Morrow and Dalon Murray. Not pictured: Alejandra Hernandez, Nicholas Schafer, Elishah Eduardo Asbaugh, Johnathan Baker, Cayce French, Robert Miller, Agustin Estrada-Vargas, Ezequiel Vasquez, and Bailey Allman.

May 08, 2017
Youth Voices—In Their Own Words

My experience at Cordero House was one of the most significant events to have happened to me. Let me start with a background of who I am. I came from a small village in the countryside of El Salvador. At a young age, I learned to be independent, going to school and helping with the daily chores. I moved to the city for a very brief moment before flying to the U.S. At first, I felt strange and overwhelmed with everyone and everything around me. As time went by, I found myself in a state of confusion. Alone, I had no one to turn to ask for help. Instead, I did things that to this day I regret. Such events led to me spending time in a youth corrections facility.

May 01, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Angie Corll

Angie knows what it feels like to run away. She did it for years, running away from abusive and neglectful homes, opting for freedom and danger of the streets over security. This life on the run led her down many dark paths for years until she became the kid that no one wanted to take in. Finally, in 1993, with the help of her probation officer, she entered a Janus residential program. That was a turning point. Says Angie, “I was blessed to have been given a second chance.” Now she works as a Youth Care Specialist at our Oak Grove shelter in SW Washington, helping youth who are facing similar life crisis as she did. We talked to Angie to find out how her experiences has prepared her to serve our youth.

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