Dear PWA Friends,

Happy December! As the year comes to a close, we want to update you on what’s happening at PWA and thank you for your support this past year. 

PWA Programs and Mentorships: 

PWA’s third annual Future of Nursing program wrapped up on December 7. The program included small group sessions with current nursing students, an overview of nursing programs at prominent universities such as University of Portland and Oregon Health and Science University and an introduction to how to get started in healthcare with professionals in the field. 

Students even gained hands-on nursing experience thanks to members of the simulation team at Legacy Health. These professionals taught students how to use a stethoscope, how to monitor a patient’s blood pressure and even how to administer CPR – all over Zoom. 

I thought it was cool getting to hear from the simulation team and get a glimpse into what the room that they work in looks like and some of the tools they use,” wrote a student after this session. 

For students, the program offered students a chance to get a behind the scenes look into the nursing field and hone their future goals. 

“What I learned is that you have to put [in] so much effort when you start going into nursing,” said Rose Carrillo, a Future of Nursing participant, after the program concluded.  “I realize that it takes a lot of time and dedication and you are going to need a great support system… but it’s going to be so worth it to reach your goal.”

Learn more about Rose Carrillo, who tells us more about her journey to getting started with nursing and what she gained from the Future of Nursing program. 

Youth Impact Council: 

Although the Future of Nursing has come to a close, the Youth Impact Council has just begun! PWA accepted 10 student leaders into the program this year from across Oregon. The Youth Impact Council serves as an advisory board for PWA for six months. The Council is facilitated by PWA board members, Jarryd Briggs of Umpqua Bank and Rachelle Thurik of Topo Designs. Students meet monthly to discuss ideas for PWA’s upcoming events and learn about career readiness and leadership. 

Mock Interviews: 

This month PWA  headed back into the classroom! In early December, juniors from four North Clackamas high schools honed their job interview skills with caring volunteers from On Point Community Credit Union, Port of Portland, Umpqua Bank, Pacific Fruit Company and many others. The event allowed students a glimpse into the professional world and allowed volunteers the opportunity to step into a high school and make in-person connections with high school students. 

“After the mock interview, I really felt I learned a lot about professionalism,” wrote one student. “And I got a good sense of what it felt like to be an adult in an interview setting.” 

Career Talk - Trades: 

Finally, students had the opportunity to learn more about careers in the trades during a 5-part series hosted by AVID teachers at Parkrose High School. Scores of Parkrose students, as well as a number of students from other partner districts, attended panel discussions with leaders in the trades, including electricians, paint and sign installers, plumbers, carpenters and construction workers. Topics ranged from gender equity in the field to on the job-learning and how to prepare for these careers while still in high school. 

This opens up our eyes and shows us there's other options than just college or going straight into work after highschool,” shared a Parkrose High School Student after attending one of the sessions. “Trades will better our skills and give us training and connections.”

For more information about trades and apprenticeships, check out the apprenticeships page on our website. 

Careers Expo: The NW Youth Careers Expo is PWA’s largest career-exploration experience and attracts thousands of students, educators and employers from around Oregon. 

PWA is in full-planning mode and already has reached 40 exhibitor booths. With the help of the Youth Impact Council, we are in the midst of planning career readiness topics for the virtual auditorium and increasing our student engagement.  Visit our website to learn more about Sponsoring, exhibiting, bringing students to the Expo. 

2021 was without a doubt a challenging year. Here at PWA, we are grateful to our partners, students and board members for their steadfast devotion to PWA’s mission. Your support makes our work possible. 

As we look ahead to 2022, our commitment to our mission remains unchanged: 

Big Dreams. Good jobs. All students. 

With gratitude, 

The PWA Team 


PWA December News: Looking back and moving forward