“Today, I think I figured out what I want to do for the rest of my life.” – Lilly, Grant High

Last week, we listened to Mercy Corps employees talk with high school students about their careers. They said that working for global social change is deeply rewarding but also challenging, and they’re always asking themselves: Are we making a difference?

That question seems to be universal among the many good people who volunteer with PWA. You want your work to matter. With that in mind, we can tell you this much: By helping Oregon teenagers learn about careers and get excited about their future, you’re making a big difference.


Sometimes, that just means helping one student find her place in the world – like Lilly, who attended the Mercy Corps Career Day, or Sadie and David, who attended Wieden+Kennedy’s recent career day.

  • “Today, I think I figured out what I want to do for the rest of my life. … This is what I’ve been looking for, and never knew how to put it into words but today I found it.” – Lilly, Grant High
  • “It was very interesting. It allowed me to see adults enjoying their employment.” – Sadie, Madison High
  • “Now I want to go to college.” – David, Benson High

So thank you to everyone who shares their time, talent and resources with students through PWA. Some of you are big employers, such as Oregon Health & Science University, while others are smaller firms, such as Upswell studios. It takes all of you to make PWA thrive.

This Thanksgiving, please consider taking these actions to support PWA’s year-round work:

  • Make an individual donation to PWA in honor of a special mentor.
  • Participate in the NW Youth Careers Expo on Feb. 24, 2016 as an exhibitor, sponsor or mock interviewer. (Did you know that 5,000 students and about 70 employers have already signed up?)
  • Contact us if you’d like to talk to a class or volunteer in other ways to inspire Oregon students and connect with your future workforce.

Happy Thanksgiving, and stay in touch.

Your team at PWA

Browse a photo gallery of the 2015 Expo

Donate to support Oregon teens

Meet the early sponsors of the 2016 Expo

View the Mercy Corps FB photo gallery

View the Wieden+Kennedy FB photo gallery

Question of the week: “Are we making a difference?”