Life has options
Our students exemplify the essence of SEI. The program is offered to students from ages 8 – 25. SEI provides a continuum of services that ex-poses students to options and opportunity for success.
Monterae Hill entered SEI when she was 7 years old. Her mother died when she was young leaving behind three beautiful daughters who were then raised by their grandmother. Growing up, Monterae felt like an outsider and often challenged authority. Monterae and her coordinator worked through these difficulties and she was able to channel her energies in a more positive direction. Through her hard work Monterae received a full academic scholarship to Virginia State University and is pursuing a degree in Computer Science. She counts SEI as one of the motivational forces in her overall success. In her own words:
“SEI helped me to overcome the obstacle of not having a “mother” and “father” in my life. The connections and relationships that I have built with my coordinators throughout the years have created the best second family for me. I feel like I can fly with the support of SEI under my wings.”
Maya entered the program at 7 years old. Maya came from a two parent household, with love and support, yet she also benefited from the SEI program. Maya is currently a sophomore at Howard University majoring in Print Journalism. In her own words:
“I could not thank my SEI family enough; SEI has left its mark on every person that has walked through the building, and I am proud to say I am one of them. Because of SEI my fellow peers and I will not fulfill the stereotypes society has already set out for us to be. We will not be a part of the 50% of African-American students sadly failing to graduate high school. We represent the misrepresented population in Portland. We are the future leaders and already young pioneers. The importance of education SEI has instilled in our lives will only push us even harder to continue to go out into the world and inspire, motivate and touch the lives of others around us like SEI has touched ours. I could never thank SEI enough for enhancing all of our lives.”
Emanuel entered the SEI program at 7 years old. He was raised in a drug-affected, single parent household. His early years were impacted due to his mother’s drug use and he was removed temporarily from his mother’s custody. When Emanuel’s youngest sibling was born his mother decided to change her life; she stopped using drugs and moved her family to Portland, OR. The move to Portland proved to be a good decision, it was there that Emanuel’s mother was able to turn her life around. She advocated for her children’s education and sought services from SEI. SEI provided the necessary support to help her family, and a safety net for them to grow and ex-cel. Their combined commitment to change empowered Emanuel to succeed. Emanuel received a full academic scholarship to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. In his own words:
“SEI was not only there for fun and games … they took adolescents off the streets and away from the drugs, gang affiliation and the chances of being incarcerated.”