Here’s some June nonprofit news from Milwaukie… Advantis Credit Union and Friends of the Children announced a new college scholarship program for Portland’s vulnerable youth. On hand for the presentation of the check were: Duncan Campbell, Founder and Co-Chair of Friends of the Children, Terri Sorensen, Executive Director, Wendy Edwards, VP of Marketing & Human Resources, and Misti Rooney, Community Relations Officer.  

Friends of the Children, a non-profit organization that provides Portland’s most vulnerable children with intensive and long-term mentoring throughout their K-12 school years, has been growing roots in Portland area schools since 1993. Now, with the help of Advantis’ $20,000 GROW Scholarship Fund, the non-profit organization can help more youth achieve their dream of a college education.

Advantis Credit Union’s donation of $20,000 will grant scholarships to support education and vocational training to at-risk kids. The scholarships will range from $1,000 – $5,000 per student. Scholarship recipients are also eligible to apply for a summer internship at Advantis Credit Union, lending a hand to their career pathway. 

“Friends of the Children provide an excellent avenue for us to reach children who really need our help getting to college,” says Wendy Edwards, Vice President of Marketing & Human Resources for Advantis. “Their mission to help youth with barriers to achievement become successful adults is an ideal fit with the goals of our GROW Scholarship Program.”

The GROW College Scholarship Program is a new addition to Advantis’ GROW Community Fund. Through GROW, which awarded $51,000 to eight local organizations in December, Advantis facilitates the enhancement and improvement of life in local communities one project at a time through programs that assist the underprivileged, at-risk children, enhancement of community spaces, education, and the arts. 

“Thanks to Advantis and the GROW Scholarship fund, we can offer a college education to well-deserving but under-financed students. This opportunity will make a tremendous difference for these kids who have come from challenging circumstances and are on the way to turning their lives around,” says Terri Sorensen, executive director, Friends of the Children.

Unique among mentoring organizations, Friends of the Children selects the most highly vulnerable children in kindergarten. They match each child with a professional mentor who will stay with them as they journey through twelve years of school. This one-on-one, consistent and stable mentor/child relationship has proven successful at creating positive futures for youth.

Friends of the Children targets David Douglas, Reynolds, and Portland Public Schools with the highest number of youth living in poverty. They use evidence-based risk factors, including the amount of parental support the child has, the stability of their home life and their ability to adjust and perform in school to select children for their program. Because of the mentor’s steady guidance and support through a child’s elementary, middle school and high school years, there’s hope that the student will not only be the first in their family to graduate high school but they’ll want to continue on to college as well.

About Advantis

Advantis Credit Union, with over $905 million in assets, is one of Oregon’s largest member-owned not-for-profit, financial cooperatives with over 48,000 members and five branches in the Portland metro area. Advantis is one of the oldest credit unions in Oregon, serving the Portland metro area for over 84 years. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works or is a member of an organization in Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Lane, Linn, and Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, or Yamhill counties in Oregon and anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in the state of Washington.