Portland Community College

Portland Community College Foundation: Campaign for Opportunity PCC Foundation: Campaign for Opportunity

Mandy Ellertson

PCC staff and donor
Mandy Ellertson and her husband Scott

“I do believe education is a means to a better life. Not just financially, but it also lifts the heart and opens the mind. The spirit of the community college movement provides people on the margins a chance to change their course and that of their families. I hope our contributions help others find that fulfillment of education.”
Mandy Ellertson, PCC staff and donor

Mandy Ellertson, Director of Student Life and Leadership at Rock Creek for the past 27 years, sees first-hand the struggles many students face as they pursue their education. The damaging consequences of poverty and food insecurity, the challenges of marginalized communities, the realities of being undocumented, and the urgency of addressing climate change from an eco-social justice lens inspires her to work diligently to create change, serve students’ needs and build a community on campus where everyone has a seat at the table.

A witness to those navigating food insecurity while attending PCC, Mandy helped create the on-campus Panther Pantry which provides packaged and fresh food to students. She has been an integral part of its vision and growth since day one. As Mandy puts it, “Our Panther Pantry serves numerous students who might be choosing between rent or food, tuition or food. Being hungry doesn’t allow folks to concentrate and succeed in school.”

In addition to the contributions, Mandy makes in her daily professional life at PCC, she and her husband, Scott, contribute monthly to the PCC Foundation’s Faculty, Staff and Retiree Campaign. Their motivation to give started as a way to pay it forward in gratitude of their own higher education, and grew as all three of their children attended PCC at one point or another. As the years have gone by, their giving has increased because as Mandy says, “I agree with the phrase that ‘when everyone does better, everyone does better’. I hope our contributions help others find that fulfillment of education.”