5 Organizations Supporting Students In Oregon

Many students face incredible hurdles as they try to get an education, and one of those is a lack of knowledge about the resources available to them. These organizations all work in the state of Oregon to provide opportunities to young people, including career training, help saving for college, and creative outlets to help students find their callings. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Organizations Offering Help to Students in Oregon

Name Work in OR
Achieving the Dream's Gateway to College PDX Bridge, focused on getting Portland-area foster, juvenile justice, and homeless youth through high school and college successfully
Beyond Differences School clubs and retreats offering leadership opportunities for local middle and high school students, as well as the annual We Dine Together fundraising event
Heart of Oregon Corps Provides job skills training, education, and leadership development to over 300 local young people ages 16-24 who face major barriers to success
Oregon College Savings Plan Makes it easy to manage and contribute to a 529 savings account that has special tax advantages to help people save for educational expenses like tuition, computers, & supplies
Oregon Writers Colony Supports writers in all stages of their careers, with discounted membership fees for students

Oregon College Savings Plan Basics

High School Graduation Rates By State

As of the 2016-17 school year, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics

State Graduation Rate State Graduation Rate
Alabama 89.3% Montana 85.8%
Alaska 78.2% Nebraska 89.1%
Arizona 78.0% Nevada 80.9%
Arkansas 88.0% New Hampshire 88.9%
California 82.7% New Jersey 90.5%
Colorado 79.1% New Mexico 71.1%
Connecticut 87.9% New York 81.8%
Delaware 86.9% North Carolina 86.6%
Florida 82.3% North Dakota 87.2%
Georgia 80.6% Ohio 84.2%
Hawaii 82.7% Oklahoma 82.6%
Idaho 79.7% Oregon 76.7%
Illinois 87.0% Pennsylvania 86.6%
Indiana 83.8% Rhode Island 84.1%
Iowa 91.0% South Carolina 83.6%
Kansas 86.5% South Dakota 83.7%
Kentucky 89.7% Tennessee 89.8%
Louisiana 78.1% Texas 89.7%
Maine 86.9% Utah 86.0%
Maryland 87.7% Vermont 89.1%
Massachusetts 88.3% Virginia 86.9%
Michigan 80.2% Washington 79.4%
Minnesota 82.7% West Virginia 89.4%
Mississippi 83.0% Wisconsin 88.6%
Missouri 88.3% Wyoming 86.2%

The Students of PDX Bridge

In Depth

While all students have the right to proper education and deserve to thrive, not all of them have the resources to succeed. Fortunately, there are countless groups helping those in need of financial, academic, or even emotional support. In no particular order, here are some organizations in Oregon dedicated to providing students the help they need to flourish.

First up, at #1, we have Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit based in the D.C. area that leads a growing network of more than 200 community colleges. Its Gateway to College program provides holistic support to students who are significantly off track, helping them complete their high school diplomas while simultaneously earning credits toward a post-secondary credential.

The organization's PDX Bridge program propels Portland area foster, juvenile justice, and homeless youth onto a pathway from high school all the way through college. Students will receive personalized support from coaches, secondary counselors, teachers, and case managers. This same network of adults stays with students throughout their progress in PDX Bridge, helping them overcome challenges both inside and outside the classroom. Show your support by donating to the program.

Show your support by donating to the program.

At #2 is Beyond Differences. It's a student-led organization that seeks to inspire youth at all middle schools nationwide to end social isolation and create a culture of belonging for everyone. The organization's Know Your Classmates curriculum is designed to support students, primarily middle schoolers, as they explore issues of self-identity, stereotypes, and embracing differences among one another.

Beyond Differences' Portland Teen Board of Directors are full-time high school students from various schools throughout the city. Every year, the organization partners with top-tier Portland restaurants for its We Dine Together event, which benefits the No One Eats Alone initiative. Help out by donating online or attending one of its many fundraising events.

Next up, at #3, we have Heart of Oregon Corps, which aims to provide life-altering opportunities to those who need and deserve them. It provides vocational training and continuing education to young people ages 16-24 who face major barriers to success. In addition to teaching youth job skills, the projects they work on help keep the community healthy, while the wages they earn stimulate regional economic growth.

In addition to teaching youth job skills, the projects they work on help keep the community healthy, while the wages they earn stimulate regional economic growth.

The organization's AmeriCorps members work mostly outdoors in natural resource conservation projects, earning a living stipend and a Segal Education Award for college. Other programs include Camp LEAD, an immersive leadership experience that employs and empowers youth with disabilities, and Thrift Store, where students can learn retail and customer service skills. Get involved by volunteering or making a gift of any amount.

Taking the #4 spot is the Oregon College Savings Plan, which is designed to help people both in and outside of the state save for education, no matter their budget or timeline. It is a state-sponsored 529 plan that can be opened by just about anyone, and the money saved grows tax-free and can be used for qualified expenses, such as tuition, books, computers, and more.

The organization's Be College Ready program is designed to help parents prepare their children for today's academic challenges while becoming knowledgeable about the financial realities of achieving a post-secondary education. Schools may also order supplies, such as folders, pencils, bookmarks, and posters as a continuous reminder for families in the community to be college ready.

Schools may also order supplies, such as folders, pencils, bookmarks, and posters as a continuous reminder for families in the community to be college ready.

Finally, at #5, we have the Oregon Writers Colony. Established in 1982, it supports writers in all stages of their careers, from novices to published authors. Full-time students have a discounted membership fee, and those interested in writing both in school and after they've graduated can benefit from the organization's various events and educational workshops.

In 1988, the organization's founders purchased the Colonyhouse, a historic three-story log cabin on the Oregon Coast at Rockaway Beach. While it is not available for use by the general public, members may reserve the house for individual and group retreats. Every year, the organization celebrates Founders Day, an annual get-together at Colonyhouse where members can connect with other writers.