Portland Community College

PCC Foundation Portland Community College Foundation

Christine Neilsen

Chris Neilsen

Opportunity is a big word. Sometimes there are barriers that keep people from doing what they need to do to make their lives better. Opportunity, like that which is available at Portland Community College, removes those barriers. Opportunity is the opposite of a barrier.

Throughout my time volunteering with the PCC Foundation, I have come to learn that our students face many barriers to reaching their goals: challenges such as buying food, keeping their lights on or finding childcare.

The Student Success Endowed Fund, established by the Champions for Opportunity, will ensure that students’ greatest needs are met, affording them the opportunity to stay in school and complete their degrees or certificates. Since it will be administered by the PCC Foundation, it connects our Foundation Board more deeply with our students. It resonates with me to give the Board an opportunity to interact, be informed and make a decision based on student needs. 

As co-chair of The Campaign for Opportunity, I feel that the best way to encourage others to commit as Champions is to make that commitment myself. I believe that when we come together to address students’ greatest needs, our students will thrive and thousands of lives will be impacted.