Harold Two August 9th, 2008
A non-profit organization run by a prominent local African-American family and two giant institutions in education and government have entered into a unique partnership to provide mentoring, career and education opportunities to students at Jefferson High School.
The collaboration involves the Portland Development Commission, Portland Community College and the Diversity Institute, an organization charged with promoting diversity, education and bridging the gab between the disfranchised and enfranchised in north and northeast Portland.
The institute is headed by Harold Williams Sr. and his son Harold Williams Two. The senior Williams brings prestige to the effort as a long time community advocate, business owner and member of the Portland Community College Board of Directors. Williams Two is also an executive with his father at CH2A & Associates and the Diversity Institute who has worked in the field of child development and social work.
Beginning this fall, the pilot program will provide mentoring, career mapping and tracking help, internships and other exposure to career and educational opportunities for Jefferson High School students, with special emphasis on the school’s Young Men’s Academy.
It expands on Jefferson partnerships that already exist with PCC and its Cascade Campus, across Killingsworth Street from the high school.
PCC will help students with coursework and build school credits, giving them added college exposure, career counseling, and tutoring, both during and after school hours. The PDC will provide internships and job shadowing for the Jefferson kids, along with mentoring in a variety of careers and trades, summer jobs with other partners and business exposure.
Jefferson Principal Cynthia Harris said the next step is for the backers to establish timelines, roles, and responsibilities, with training and implementation to follow.
“The mentoring piece is very important and it augments partnerships we already have in place,” Harris said.
Williams Two said the purpose of the collaboration is to provide a 21st Century Educational Model to Jefferson students that coordinates and collaborates with local schools, government agencies, unions, private entities, social agencies and community colleges and universities.
“We all share the understanding and know the importance of public involvement and giving back to youth in our community,” he said. “We believe strongly in the five keys of success: Access, accountability, communication, education and relationship building.”
“The key to changing the world is that you must be willing to change your mind,” he said.
The article was accompanied by a photograh with this caption:
Local business owner and community advocate Harold Williams Sr. (from left); Damon Hickok and Algie Gatewood of Portland Community College; Jefferson Principal Cynthia Harris; John Jackley of the Portland Development Commission; and Harold Williams Jr. usher in a new partnership to give career and educational opportunities to students at Jefferson High School.
As reported in The Portland Observer, August 6, 2008