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Nov 17, 2015

Janus 43rd Annual Dinner Honors Staff and Community Partners


(Top left, left to right: Noah Schultz, OYA Director Fariborz Pakseresht, Dennis Morrow, Maryalice Russell; Top right, left to right: Dennis Morrow and Clean And Safe members Bill Sinnott, Dave Hamilton, Lynnae Berg, Jay McIntyre, Clay Cooper; Bottom left, left to right: Dennis Morrow, Lieutenant Mike Frome, Sergeant Jim Quackenbush, Officer Justin Damerville, Officer Jason Carper, Officer Jonathan Richardson, Janus Board Member Michael Buonocore; Bottom right, left to right: John Bakkensen, Gilda Powell, Janus Board Member Tom Fink) 

Janus Youth Programs hosted its 43rd Annual Dinner last week to celebrate the exceptional contributions and dedication of Janus staff and our community partners.

Dennis Morrow, Janus Youth Programs’ Executive Director, presented the David G. Fitzpatrick Spirit Award to Fariborz Pakseresht, Director of the Oregon Youth Authority. The award honors the memory of Dave Fitzpatrick, a long-time Janus board member, and his unwavering commitment to help the children, youth and families Janus serves. Dennis recognized Fariborz as a leader in the field of juvenile justice and evidence-based programming to reduce recidivism rates and improve positive outcomes for youth in correctional systems.

“Fariborz has a personal vision for our communities, he has a personal commitment to the families of the youth in his system and he truly cares about the young men and women in his custody. He has been willing to take the risks necessary to change the system from the ground up: closing institutions and moving youth into community programs, hiring clinical chiefs instead of jail chiefs, and piloting the Hope Partnership to bring adult role models inside the institution to interact and work with the youth,” Dennis said.

Dave Fitzpatrick’s wife, Maryalice Russell, Superintendent of the McMinnville School District, helped present the award along with current Hope Partnership youth Noah Schultz, who attended to help honor Fariborz with his own remarks, thanking Fariborz for believing in him. Read more about the  Hope Partnership and Noah’s recent TEDxSalem talk here.

The John Zuercher Champions for Children Award, presented by Home Forward Executive Director and Janus Board Member Michael Buonocore, recognized two organizations whose contributions had a significant impact on the homeless and runaway youth Janus serves: the City of Portland Police Bureau and Downtown Clean And Safe. Their contributions totaling $45,000 kept the doors open for our  Yellow Brick Road Street Outreach Program last year when our federal funding was interrupted. Their partnership and support truly created a safer and healthier community. Read more about the Clean And Safe District and their donation here.

Gilda Powell and the Kiwanis Club of Portland received this year’s Helen Reser Bakkensen Award, presented by Janus Board Member Tom Fink and Helen’s son, John Bakkensen. In the mid-1980s at age 70, Helen led the charge to ensure that Portland’s homeless youth would have a safe place to sleep at night and the help they needed to get off the streets. Gilda and the Kiwanis Club of Portland have been donating socks and supplies for homeless youth for the past 25 years. Beyond the significance of the number of years Gilda has gathered donations, is the fact that she traces her service directly to Helen Reser Bakkensen.  Read our recent Volunteer Spotlight for the full story on how Gilda and Helen met and partnered to care for youth experiencing homelessness.

Fourteen Janus staff members were recognized for reaching a length of service milestone. Helen Sprengel, Sonja McGrew, Andrea Siede, Jason Sutherland, Devin Vaughn, Eca Etabo Wasongolo and Heather Wilkins each reached five years of service. Jamal McKenzie, Peter Thorpe and Ian Yee reached 10 years of service, and Jack Davidson, Kevin Donegan and Martha Watson reached 15 years.

Dennis Morrow, Janus Youth Programs’ Executive Director also received a length of service award for 35 years. Kevin Huish, president of the Janus Board of Directors, shared a special tribute to Dennis from board members, each speaking of their respect and admiration of his dedication to our community’s youth. 

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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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