We are excited to announce that our office’s Portland Restoration Academy was launched on February 17th, 2021 and we have hired our first three interns!
The Portland Restoration Academy is a robust six – to – nine-month work experience program provided by the City of Portland for people who have been recently incarcerated. This program is administrated by the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), which is overseen by the Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler, in partnership with several community organizations and employers.
The goal of the academy is to provide recently incarcerated individuals within Multnomah County an opportunity to learn new job skills, earn paid work experience, receive on-the-job training, and wrap around services. The mission is to provide returning citizens a chance to re-enter their communities with hope.
For most individuals recently released from prison, the adjustment period after incarceration is extremely difficult to navigate. For many people, their connections and communities in the outside world have changed significantly during their time in prison. This fact, compounded with the many systemic barriers that make it difficult for returning citizens to find housing and family-sustaining employment, can make a successful transition seem almost impossible. This is especially true for individuals who have spent a significant number of years incarcerated.
It is our desire that every returning citizen who becomes an intern with the Portland Restoration Academy and completes our program will learn job skills, have access to professional development opportunities, and form professional relationships, all of which serves the goal of returning citizens obtaining long-term, family-sustaining employment.
Introducing the 2021 Portland Restoration Academy Interns:
“I am a formerly incarcerated woman who is a survivor of domestic violence, being shot and almost killed by my boyfriend in 2016." Ashley says it is now her passion to give back, be the voice and support for those in need.
“I was born and raised in Portland and I am currently an undergraduate student at PSU, where I am majoring in Social Sciences with a minor in civic leadership. I hope to contribute my life’s experiences toward helping others who are similarly situated.”
“I am a person of change also one who helps others. I enjoy putting smiles on others faces. I don’t talk much; I allow my work to speak for itself.”
Our goal is that the Portland Restoration Academy serves as a beacon of hope and opportunity for formerly incarcerated individuals. This program can create a pathway for them to be come the change makers and give opportunities to others who are faced with similar obstacles.