Community service is an important part of middle school and high school in the Lincoln cluster.  All  8-12 graders are required to fulfill community service hours and there are many opportunities in the Portland community. Hands on Portland, teachers and local outreach organizations are excellent resources.  

If you are a student and  would like to share your volunteer story in the local Hispanic community or know of an organization that offers volunteer opportunities to students, please contact us. 

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Gathered in the office of the WFWA are (left to right) Jessica & Ester Tomas, members; Leecia Anderson, Education Director;  Aiden Daly-Jensen and Haley Stewart, volunteers; Maria Castaneda, Benefit Plan 2 Coordinator  

Lincoln Seniors Volunteer at the Western Farm Workers Association  

Every Wednesday afternoon, Lincoln seniors Aiden Daly-Jensen and Haley Stewart travel to a small house in downtown Hillsboro to the headquarters of the Western Farm Workers Association as part of their senior SI Humanidades class. The Humanindades class has a community service component and Aiden and Haley volunteer at the WFWA, a self-help benefit program that assists low paid workers. Many of the MFWA members are seasonal farm and nursery workers who struggle with the gap between their wages and their basic living expenses.  

For both Aidan and Haley their volunteer work at the WFWA has special significance. For the past three summers Aidan has worked at the cherry harvest at Hood River Cherry Company. He has learned first hand about the lives of agricultural migrant farm workers and the barriers they have overcome. 

Haley lived for two months in La Cienga, Mexico where most of the families had relatives working in the United States. "To be able to see both sides of the immigration issue is really interesting and shows how complicated the whole situation is. Some of these workers aren't just struggling to support their own families, but family members living in Mexico as well" says Haley. 

 

Growing Gardens is a Portland based non-profit organization that gets to the root of hunger by building organic home gardens in urban backyards. Mentors team up with low-income families or individuals and provide guidance and training to help participants become confident in growing their own food.  Garden beds, seeds, starter plants, compost bins and workshops are provided at no charge by Growing Gardens. Once selected through an application process, participants agree to stay in the program for three years and receive continuous support.  

In 2009,  Hacienda CDC, a housing community for many Hispanic and Somali families in NE Portland, teamed up with Growing Gardens to build Los Jardines Community Garden in existing unused space. Several mentors  formed a group and worked with 15 families to transform barren dirt into a source of food. West Sylvan SI student, Gabriella P., volunteered as a junior mentor with her mother to provide gardening know-how and Spanish translation. 

West Sylvan Middle School student,  Gabriella P.,  seen here  teaching the concept of  Square Foot Gardening