Two of my great loves came together this past week when I had the opportunity to be a guest at Portland Tennis & Education in North Portland. Tennis has been a life-long passion of mine. And, through our work with the JustCause campaign, we believe education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world and solve extreme poverty. At Portland Tennis & Education, they have combined these two greatest passions of mine into an extraordinary program serving some kids in pretty extraordinary circumstances in the city.
Portland Public Schools recently reported that only 67% of students graduate from high school in four years, with many failing to get their diplomas. Gang activity is also on the rise in North and Northeast Portland, with minority and at-risk students particularly impacted. To address these alarming trends, PT&E delivers proven athletic and academic services that foster self-sufficiency and help participants develop the skills and confidence to succeed in school and beyond. Their focus on parent education and citizen engagement also promotes healthier lifestyles for families and the broader community.
ISA will be looking to develop a stronger relationship with Portland Tennis & Education in the future. This is an extraordinary program that is doing exceptional work in our community. Special thanks to Danice Brown, the executive director, for her thoughtful and gracious reception to the family of PT&E.