Phi Theta Kappa, Fostering Success Program spread holiday happiness
But Portland Community College’s Fostering Success Program and the Rock Creek Campus chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society stepped up this month to bring holiday cheer to those students. They created gifts and partnered with local organizations to provide cheer to those who have experienced foster care and are in independent living programs run by LifeWorks Northwest and New Avenues for Youth.
“Watching other students with loving families leave on trips, get elaborate gifts, and express joy over family visits can be particularly painful because these positive experiences are rare for many foster youth,” said Lisa J. Féinics, Fostering Success coordinator. “The generous efforts of PCC faculty and staff at every campus allowed for the creation of gift baskets and stockings for current and former foster youth.”
Féinics said students Awen Gatten, Misha O’Halloran and Miracle Uzoekwe made the effort a success. These Fostering Success Champions and members of the program’s advisory council created gift baskets, as well as donated stocking items. In addition, Awen, Misha and Miracle along with the help of their club advisor DeLinda Martin-Huggins, were able to inspire generosity from all around the Rock Creek Campus through staff and faculty donations. To put the icing on the cake, retired Reverend Connie Yost along with Kristin Brown and other Providence Center for Outcomes Research and Education staff also provided items and gift cards to the effort.
The crew delivered the gift baskets during LifeWorks and New Avenues for Youth holiday parties where everyone talked about their educational journies and future aspirations. And, the connections go beyond the holiday cheer as Taylor Smithey, a former AmeriCorp VISTA at PCC who helped create PCC Fostering Success with Féinics and Neal Naigus, now works at LifeWorks NW.
“It is wonderful that PCC Fostering Success has such close connections to our community partners serving foster youth,” Féinics said. “The sharing and caring brought a lot of joy to transitioning youth in attendance.”