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Mar 31, 2016

Changing the Course of my Life

My name is Jeremy. I am 18 years old and currently reside at the Cordero House. Over the past two years that I have lived here, it has become evident to me that there is not a single thing in this life that should be taken for granted. I do my best to approach every day with passion, vigor and love for all things. I love being alive! I know that now. But it was not always that way. Growing up, I lived with my adopted parents and five siblings (three brothers and two sisters). My dad had an amazing job that allowed us to live in a beautiful home, sitting on 6 acres of property, with a panoramic view of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. We had everything that we ever wanted, and more. Although now I can look back and see how privileged I was to live in such a beautiful place, at the time I remained ignorant to the beauty of the world around me. From the outside, my family may have appeared similar to your stereotypical “Partridge Family.” But the things that went on behind closed doors were anything but. I lived in that home until I was 16 years old. I made plenty of mistakes that I now regret with all of my heart, and I damaged the very relationships that meant the most to me. My life had been shattered, and I could not even see that it was by my own doing.

It took three months of being locked up to teach me that life is not a game. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, I learned that the hard way. Try spending three months without seeing the sun or the stars, or without breathing in the fresh spring air. It was probably the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. Those three months truly humbled me and caused me to see life from a much different perspective. When I was presented with the opportunity to go live at the Cordero House, I jumped on it.

Since being at Cordero House, I have learned soooo much. I have made significant strides towards improving my own life, as well as the lives of those that I have hurt. I have become so much more responsible than I was before, I graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA and I have even begun taking online college courses. I also have learned how to play guitar from a few of the staff at my program which has always been a dream of mine. My life has truly taken a turn for the better. I see the goodness inside of people that I once believed did not exist. I have a much brighter outlook on the world than I did before. I feel blessed to live with such stupendous people who truly care about others and that make it their life’s work to help people like me become successful in life. Without the help of Cordero and all of the staff that devote their time there, I don’t think my life would look quite as it does today. I owe so much to them and I truly treasure all of those who have helped me along throughout this journey in my life. I have truly discovered myself, my values, and the role in which I am to play in this world. I have found my purpose in life and I plan to pursue it.

Looking ahead, I will be graduating the program at Cordero in about four months. I will be attending Portland State University this fall. Two years ago, I never even dreamed that this would be a possibility. Through my own hard work and the relentless and compassionate effort of all the staff at Cordero, this has become my reality. I have made plenty of mistakes that I wish that I could take back. But with all of the things that I have learned in my time at Cordero, I can now work hard to overcome my mistakes and be the man that my own parents never thought that I could be. The man that I never thought I could be. Every day is a new adventure, a gift. I see that now. Thank you to all of the wonderful people at Cordero House and Janus Youth Programs that have made all of this possible. You are all truly amazing, I wish that there were more people like you in this world. My time at Cordero House has had a truly profound impact on my life, one that I will never forget. Thank you.

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Mar 09, 2017
Employee Spotlight— Roy Spencer

Every night of the week, a crowd of youth line up to get into our downtown Portland shelter where they get a warm bed and meal for the night. Preparing for their arrival every day takes a lot of work, including cooking their dinner. We talked to Roy Spencer, Porchlight Shelter Supervisor, about his job which includes managing and cleaning the shelter, doing light maintenance work and feeding up to 70 homeless youth daily. In addition to performing all of those tasks, according to his supervisor, Dennis Lundberg, “Roy will always step in when the shelter is short-staffed, going the extra mile for the staff and youth we serve. For example, this week he is on call 24/7 for 14 days straight.” Roy has been working for Janus for over three years. A soft-spoken person with an easy smile, he has earned respect from his peers and youth.

Feb 15, 2017
​Next steps After Imani

This month, Christian Ford will graduate from Imani House, one of our residential treatment programs that help youth between the ages of 13 to 18 rebuild their lives. 18 year-old Christian, a soft-spoken youth, has plans for his life after Imani. Like so many of the youth we serve, his journey in getting to where he is today was filled with many challenges.

Feb 13, 2017
​Board of Directors President Spotlight—Stephen McCammon

Stephen McCammon is the new President of the Janus Board of Directors. He has been a Board member since 2013. He lives with his wife Mary Ann. They are spending the month of February in Yelapa, Mexico where Mary Ann will teach quilting to the women in the village so they can sell their work to visiting tourists. We appreciate the time he took to answer our questions for this interview.

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