"This opportunity is going to be beautiful...it will make me feel better as a person, a lot more strong, and self confident."
Born in Somalia and the oldest of 12 siblings, Fowzia is a 16-year-old junior who is a leader and caretaker of her family. She moved to Portland when she was just 13, and since then, she has been very engaged in her community. One can find Fowzia working with Portland Parks and Rec, in various school and volunteer-based organizations, or playing basketball with Madison High School. Her friends would describe her as energetic, motivated, and always fun and positive. She's on track to be the first in her family to go to college. This summer was also her first time on a plane since she can remember.
Born in Portland, Jenny has 3 siblings and is really close with her family. She is socially minded, passionate about Latino empowerment and community engagement, and is mature beyond her years. As a 17-year-old senior, she identifies closely with Mexican heritage, as her parents were born in Mexico. She is involved at school with Key Club, Mecha (a Latino based organization), Latino Network, and AVID (a college prep course). Additionally, she works in her community as a volunteer for the Oregon Food Bank and Race for the Cure.
Born in Portland, Taty is the youngest of 3 siblings at 17-years-old. Her parents are from Mexico and immigrated in mid-twenties, so she is a proud bilingual speaker of both English and Spanish. She is funny, insightful, and observant and very involved at Reynold HS. She is also active in her community and is part of the Oregon Leadership Institute and Latino Network. She has organized many volunteer efforts for veterans, seniors with Alzheimer's, and taken AP courses. As a senior, she will be the first to go to college and wants to work with people in social work.
Angel spent the first 16 years of her life moving around foster care homes, was sometimes without a home, and overcame abuse. She lost her mother several years ago and her motivation is to honor her mother by learning to be her best person and take advantage of opportunities brought her way. Now at 18-years-old, as a GED candidate at New Avenues for Youth, she is giving back to her community. She is resilient, silly, curious, and a hard worker. Angel enjoys photography and wants to study business to one day own her own salon.
Although she was born in Denver, Anayah is of Fijian descent and connects very strongly to her family and history there. She is socially conscious, mature beyond her years, and thoughtful. One would also describe her as funny, motivated, and passionate about human rights and equity. Anayah loves to learn about people different than her, which can be uncommon in a 16-year-old. For her, community service means identifying the roots of the problem and working to alleviate it. She plays music, enjoys photography, and reading. Though she is only a junior at East High School, she knows she wants to go to college and major in international relations.