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Johnson Charitable Trust Grants $250,000 Student Success Programs

Funding to PCC for Key Student Support Programs

From left, Director of College Success Programs Josh Laurie, PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings, JCT Board President Ashley Campion, Future Connect Manager Suzanne Hesse and PCC Foundation Executive Director Christina Kline

Portland Community College's student success programs, Future Connect and PDX Bridge, were awarded The Johnson Charitable Trust (JCT) Award for Excellence in Service and Leadership, which comes with a $250,000, three-year grant that supports service to marginalized students.

“The JCT Award enables us to continue to serve our most underrepresented students, those with significant trauma, former foster youth, and those with educational barriers," said Future Connect Manager Suzanne Hesse."Through cohort-supported reading and writing courses, PCC sets these students up for success."

JCT Board President Ashley Campion stated that she could not think of “any organization more deserving” as she presented the crystal award to gathered college staff. The award letter noted that "PCC has consistently stood out as extraordinary and who we value as pillars in the community. ... [we] long recognized, in particular, the importance of the Student Success Programs at PCC under your outstanding vision and leadership. These programs continue to exceed expectations and we believe, deserve this recognition."  

Through scholarship money, career guidance, and personalized advising, Future Connect helps students build pathways to their futures. PDX Bridge serves students at no cost who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or adjudication to receive the support of a college success coach and to start taking college classes with a community of peers.

“I am overcome and almost without words for the gratitude I feel for this generosity and vote of confidence in the importance of the Future Connect and PDX Bridge Programs that continue to serve these amazing students,” said Director of College Success Programs Josh Laurie. “Thank you to Ashley and The Johnson Charitable Trust for believing in PCC students.”  

Future Connect, which is a support program for students who identify as first-generation or low-income, has served nearly 4,000 students since 2011. Program staff helps eliminate barriers to college by providing students with on-going support through scholarships, career guidance and personalized advising. PDX Bridge is dependent fully on donations to operate, and partners with local education and service providers to help youth transition to college.

“We are humbled to receive this award and are grateful for The Johnson Charitable Trust's investment in our students' success,” said Christina Kline, PCC Foundation executive director.

“Their partnership and commitment has helped change the trajectories of hundreds of students' lives.”


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