Parkrose High alums’ gift ‘Provides’ program

Here’s why the Parkrose High School Class of 1995 raised funds to help fight food insecurity at their alma matter …

In front of Parkrose High School, 2020 grad Mardre Sykes, PHS senior Natalis Savanh, 2020 grad Christina Orozco, PHS teacher and faculty coordinator Nerissa Ediza, PHS Principal Molly Ouche, and Nova Newcomer, gather to receive a check to help fund the student-led “Parkrose Provides” organization.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It’s not uncommon for high school class-year alumni associations to raise money for a banquet or picnic to celebrate milestones. Other groups raise funds to buy a plaque or memento for display at their alma matter.

But this year, the Parkrose High School (PHS) Class of 1995 decided to gather funds for what they considered a worthy cause.

Showing the envelope holding the check for the funds raised so far, is Nova Newcomer of the PHS class of 1995.

“Myself, Dorysa Moore, and Lisa Huynh were talking about planning our 25th class reunion; but, with the COVID-19 coronavirus, it was apparent that a gathering was going to be out of the question,” said Nova Newcomer, a member of the PHS class of 1995.”

“Dorysa Moore had the idea that we should get together virtually, since we couldn’t gather m in person as a big group this year,” Newcomer told East Portland News. “We thought it would be really important for our class, instead of spending our money for a get-together, or giving the school a gift, to we find a way to give back to our Parkrose community.”

Contacting school officials, the committee learned about several programs that could benefit from financial support, and settled on the student-led “Parkrose Provides” organization.

PHS 2020 grad Mardre Sykes tells about the work of “Parkrose Provides”.

Mardre Sykes, a member of the PHS graduating class of 2020, said he was a student who could himself benefit from the “Parkrose Provides” program. “Every Friday during the school year, out student group pack bags of food to help students to not be hungry over the weekend.

“These packages aren’t like steak dinners; but they do provide canned food, pastas, bread, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, and mac and cheese – things that you can cook very easily, and you don’t really need an oven,” Sykes explained. “The bags provide food that would definitely keep you from going hungry over the weekend.”

Speaking with some of the involved students is PHS Principal Molly Ouche.

“Having our class of 1995 do this, is an illustration of ‘Parkrose Pride’ – as our students and community go above and beyond to help those in need,” remarked PHS Principal Molly Ouche.

“I am proud of our community. Seeing our past students making connections to help our current students is another example of what makes our Parkrose community special,” added Ouche.

Newcomer said the goal was to raise $1,995, “Like our class year; but many came by our online reunion, and within an hour of it ending, we’d hit our goal!”

With correct social distancing, PHS senior Natalis Savanh receives a check from 1995 PHS alum Nova Newcomer in support of the “Parkrose Provides” program.

As of this writing, their GoFundMe page – still open to receive donations – showed a total of $2,270. “The donations, now covering four to five months’ worth of food and supplies, have been coming in, because everyone is so inspired by the students who are doing this,” commented Newcomer.

It’s not too late to donate: CLICK HERE to open their GoFundMe page.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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