PGE Foundation apply for funding | contact us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2008

Two Oregon foundations join forces to expand youth leadership program
PGE Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation will extend Community 101 to 100 Oregon schools

Portland, Ore. — Community 101, an innovative program in which Oregon school students learn to become philanthropists, will triple in size thanks to a collaboration announced today between the Portland General Electric Foundation and The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF).

The collaboration will allow Community 101, currently in place in 35 schools across Oregon, to be expanded to 100 schools by the 2010-2011 school year.

Community 101 has taught civic engagement, grantmaking, leadership and teamwork skills to more than 6,000 Oregon youth since the PGE Foundation formed the program in 1997. It received the Youth in Philanthropy award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2006.

“Youth philanthropy is one of the strategic initiatives of The Oregon Community Foundation,” said Greg Chaille, president of The Oregon Community Foundation. “Community 101 is a strong addition to our portfolio of work in this area.”

In Community 101 schools, students are awarded $5,000, which they distribute in grants to nonprofit organizations in their community. Supervised by a teacher advisor, students use Community 101 materials to guide them through the grantmaking process, visit nonprofits in their community and decide which programs they will fund. The students also volunteer an average of two hours a month at local nonprofits to gain a firsthand understanding of the need. Students most often choose to help organizations that serve the homeless and hungry, victims of abuse, pregnant teens and drug and alcohol users.

Students in 35 Oregon schools, from Astoria to Roseburg and from Roseburg to Tillamook, have granted more than $1 million in the 11 years the program has been in operation. Throughout that time, the PGE Foundation has funded and administered the program. Funding for student grants also has been provided by companies, organizations and foundations operating where Community 101 schools are located.

“Community 101 has given me the opportunity to interact with different nonprofit organizations in my community, giving me the chance to learn more about children in poverty and the power to generate positive change,” said Lulu Xiao, a Community 101 student at Southridge High School in Beaverton. “All the organizations I’ve come in contact with inspire me.”

Jessica Jenkins, a Community 101 student at Open Meadow High School in Portland, agreed. “I didn’t know about nonprofits until we started doing the project,” she said. “Now I know the money we give will make a real difference in how many people they can help.”

Beginning next fall, The Oregon Community Foundation will lead Community 101. The PGE Foundation will continue to provide grants and counsel over the next three years as the program expands.

“Community 101 has benefited many students and community groups over the years, and it has been our long-time dream to extend it to more Oregon high schools,” said Gwyneth Gamble Booth, chair of the PGE Foundation. “The Oregon Community Foundation, with its statewide reach and deep commitment to Oregonians, will make that dream a reality.”

The PGE Foundation, the corporate foundation of Portland General Electric, was established in 1997 as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization with a permanent endowment. The Foundation’s giving is separate from the corporate giving of PGE. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $12.4 million to help improve the quality of life for all Oregonians by supporting statewide programs and services that encourage healthy families, provide educational opportunities and encourage the arts and cultural diversity. Gwyneth Gamble Booth is chair and Carole Morse is president.
# # #