Jai Johnson named 2024 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar

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The Association of Community College Trustees and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society announced that Portland Community College student Jai Johnson has been selected as a 2024 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar. 

The Forest Grove resident’s exceptional performance in the All-USA Academic Team competition, where over 2,200 applications were evaluated, has earned her this prestigious recognition. The New Century Workforce Pathway Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation and PTK.

Jai Johnson

Jai Johnson.

She stood out as the top-scoring student from Oregon, showcasing academic achievement, leadership, service and significant endeavors. As a result, Johnson has been awarded a $1,500 scholarship sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, with additional support provided by PTK.

“Earning this designation caught me by surprise,” Johnson said. “This just helps me move closer to reaching a huge milestone in my life that will set me on the path toward growth.”

Currently pursuing an associate degree in Family and Human Services at PCC, she said, “Believe it or not, this program picked me. I wanted to focus on early child development, but instead, I’m now learning how to increase the growth of families and help them maneuver through the challenges life brings.”

Despite facing challenges like time management as a 19-year-old navigating adulthood, Johnson remains resilient and grateful for her support system. Looking ahead, she aspires to become a youth or family advocate, aiming to make a positive impact in their community.

“I’m learning, and I’m grateful for the support system I have around me,” she added. “Peer support was big for me. Building bonds helped me learn more about connections and become more familiar with my school environment, which was extremely helpful, mostly financially.”

As a New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar, Johnson will be honored during the ACCT Leadership Congress, scheduled from Oct. 23–26 in Seattle.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Director of Public Relations at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic... more »