Oregon Safe Schools & Communities Coalition is run and managed by volunteers, almost exclusively. It is only through the donation of time and talent from many people that we are able to continue working on behalf of Oregon’s students. Occasionally we feature a volunteer profile to highlight their role within the organization, and also to draw attention to how unique and diverse their stories are.

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Sally Stevens

Tell us a little about yourself; name, how long you’ve lived in Portland, pets, etc…
I am Sally Stevens, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who moved to Portland in 1976. I worked in community mental health clinics most of my career, until I retired last summer. I lived in NW Portland apartments until I moved to Lake Oswego and raised my family of three children and many cats and dogs.

Outside of your job, what issues and subjects are you most passionate about? Please include any organization(s) with which you volunteer or have worked.
As a progressive social worker I have been involved with organizations for social justice and also for environmental concerns. I was on the Board for the YMCA when they were evolving into a family Y and I was on the Board for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I have specialized in treating substance abuse, family therapy, and in gerontology, which studies life stages across our life span.

What inspired you to get involved with Oregon Safe Schools, and how long (have you been)/(were you) involved with the organization?
I became aware of OSSCC in 2006 when my daughter wanted to start up a GSA in her high school. As an ally, she wanted to support a gay friend who was being harassed at school. OSSCC offered a GSA training in Bend which she wanted to attend with the other co-chair, but there was no faculty member able to take them. I offered to provide transportation, motel room, and supervision so she and another co-chair could go. This training was excellent and they were able to successfully launch the GSA that year. My introduction to OSSCC left me impressed.

Why do you think the work of organizations like Oregon Safe Schools is necessary?
As a clinical social worker, I understood the correlation between bullying and poor school performance or suicide risk. I had been serving on the American Foundation for Prevention of Suicide board and it seemed very logical for me to move from AFSP to OSSCC. But I had a lot to learn about the LGBTQ community resources before I felt adequate performing on the Board. Struggling with the “alphabet soup” of acronyms, then learning about the many organizations and meeting their staff was just the beginning. When I volunteered to be the OSSCC historian I gradually learned their admirable history of actions to nurture safe schools for all children, parents, and teachers so learning can take place.

What would you say to other folks who care about inclusive education or are thinking about getting involved with OSSCC?
I hope others who would like to participate in creating Safe Schools will consider joining the OSSCC Board, which is in need of more members at this time. Mentorship is provided to all new board members, so one can “learn by doing” with ongoing support. There are also roles for volunteers to participate on an OSSCC Committee for Education and Advocacy, Resource Development, Board Sustainability, or Membership Services. Please consider this opportunity for meaningful community engagement. I am so glad I did!

 

10440868_518164664978207_812840087830673712_nGlenn Goodfellow

Tell us a little about yourself; name, how long you’ve lived in Portland, pets, etc…
My name is Glenn Goodfellow. I’ve lived on the East side of Portland for about 10 years now, though I originally hale from Chicago. I love to bicycle about town, noodle in my garden, and sing songs around the piano.

What do you do as a profession?
For the past 4 years I’ve worked in Montessori education, supporting a growing movement of advocates calling for education reform; especially regarding the youngest members of our society. Before that I worked as the Program Coordinator at Q Center. I was also a preschool teacher for a while. I love meaningful work!

Outside of your job, what issues and subjects are you most passionate about? Please include any organization(s) with which you volunteer or have worked.
I’m a consummate volunteer, donating my time and abilities whenever I’m able to. There’s something very gratifying about doing work that isn’t my job, even if my role is small. I’m currently a CASA volunteer, advocating for children living in the Foster Care system. I’m also quite involved with the Cascade AIDS Project, supporting their work support and empower people living with or affected by HIV, and eliminate HIV-related stigma and health disparities.

What inspired you to get involved with Oregon Safe Schools, and how long (have you been)/(were you) involved with the organization?
I was familiar with OSSCC only by name, mostly from my time working at Q Center. One of the Board members invited me out to coffee to better explain what the organization did and how I might plug into the work. After that, I attended a handful of meetings and events, and later joined the Board. That was about 5 years ago now. I’m currently serving as the Board Co-Chair.

Why do you think the work of organizations like Oregon Safe Schools is necessary?
The work of Organizations like OSSCC remains vital because the lives of young people are literally being lost due to bullying. Oregon is lucky in that we’ve been keeping data on young people for quite some time, both about their self-identity and their health. The results from that research continue to enforce that many young people are disproportionately affected by instances of harassment. Everyone deserves the right to be healthy and happy, especially when surrounded by their peers at school.

How did your involvement with Oregon Safe Schools contribute to your personal or professional growth?
The power of Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition is that we partner and support so many wonderful organizations around the State. Together, we’re better able to more comprehensively and effectively look at issues and problems and do something about them. I’ve loved getting to interact with so many of these great groups and learn about the services they offer. Because we do so much work that overlaps with policy and legislation, OSSCC has also brought me together with researchers and politicians, many of whom I now consider colleagues in this work. I’d never sat on a board before OSSCC and didn’t really know what to expect. In the end, it’s been great—Not too demanding of my time, allows me to foster skills that my professional life doesn’t afford, and getting to work alongside many wonderfully passionate and talented people.

What OSSCC accomplishments are you most proud of?
I took the lead on the creation of www.OregonGSA.com, a great resource for our Oregon’s GSA’s. OSSCC saw the need for it to exist, and we made it happen. That’s a gratifying feeling.

What would you say to other folks who care about inclusive education or are thinking about getting involved with OSSCC?
Oregon Safe Schools is a great organization with which to donate your time and talents. It’s a relatively small group of passionate people who are friendly, hard-working, and dedicated to doing this important work. The time-commitment is totally manageable and the work is rewarding. I’ve really enjoyed my time volunteer on the Board and suspect you would find the same to be true.