September Newsletter


This is the monthly newsletter of Southern Oregon Success (SORS). We weave together the talent, expertise, and resources of the entire community to promote the health, academic, and life success of our children, youth, and families.
SORS envisions a community in which all our families provide stable and nurturing homes for our children; all children are ready for kindergarten; and all youth are succeeding in school, transitioning successfully to meaningful adult lives, and contributing to a thriving economy.

Contributions in the form of stories or story ideas, photos and graphics are welcome and encouraged. To find out more about SORS or to contribute to this newsletter, please contact Seth Kaplan.

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SORS is on Facebook. Find out the latest about Self-Healing Communities, relevant events, or the doings of our many partners. We are happy to let others know about topical news from your organization as well. Find and friend us on facebook . Contact Peter for more information.

September is Flying by and October is Bursting with Activity

This issue of the Southern Oregon Success newsletter was in production during a busy second half of the month and some significant community events were just happening as of this writing. Here are some September highlights:

  • Oregon Education Innovator, Colt Gill, is holding separate sessions with K-12 superintendents, College & Career for All partners, Southern Oregon Success Steering Committee members, students in the LifeART program, business and workforce leaders, parents, and members of the Southern Oregon Success Youth Development Work Group to learn how our students can achieve more educational success.
  • AllCare Health is sponsoring two screenings of Paper Tigers (Grants Pass and Medford). This movie follows principal Jim Sporleder—who is in attendance at these screenings–and the students of Lincoln High School as they transform into a “trauma informed” school.
  • ACE Interface consultants Laura Porter and Kathy Adams have been conducting a total of nine workshops in Self-Healing Communities, called Guiding NEAR (Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs, and Resilience).

d892000d-b248-4688-bcc3-b4e298ffa63fWhile all this is concluding, October is lining up to be equally busy. Here are some of the highlights:

October 5: Collective Impact: A Framework for Community Change. The Southern Oregon Success Key Leaders Convening, Co-Hosted by Health Care Coalition of Southern Oregon, brings Liz Weaver from Tamarack Institute, an internationally known expert on collective impact and community development to our region to inform our already rich collaborative efforts. This event is close to full, so contact Seth Kaplan for information and availability.

October 7: 14th Annual Jackson County Courts & Community Caring for Children and Families Conference. This all-day Judge’s Conference at the RRMC Smullin Center includes presentations on Over, Under & Mis-Diagnosis of Troubled and Suicidal Youth by Dr. Lisa Boesky; and Marijuana, Drug Tolerance and Youth by Eric Martin. A $40 registration fee includes breakfast and lunch. Register and learn more at

October 10-11: Next, NOW. Join hundreds of your neighbors across the region in building the trauma informed community we all envision. Two of the greatest thinkers in the self-healing communities’ world will be kicking off this two-day happening. Sandra Bloom is the President of CommunityWorks, a consulting firm committed to nonviolent environments. Robert Anda was one of the original researchers in the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and Founder of ACE Interface with Laura Porter. Together they will kick off this community empowering event in which attendees design the trauma-informed future they envision for our region. This is not your typical education event where professional speakers tell you what to do. At this free summit, we’ll learn what others are already doing and co-create the next powerful steps for self-healing our community. Register at and join us at Parkway Christian Center in Grants Pass. Lunch and other accommodations will be provided.

October 10, Noon-1:30: Southern Oregon’s Education, Workforce & Economic Success – Taking Southern Oregon Success Education and Workforce Partnerships to the Next Level. Join Local Elected Officials and candidates, and leaders from Business, Education, Workforce, Philanthropy, Healthcare, Human Services Organizations, and the media at this free lunch and opportunity to learn more about the State and regional efforts underway that are focused on improving student success, graduation rates and workforce readiness. Special attention will be on: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), CTE (Career-Technical Education), Career Related Learning Experiences, and accelerated college credit in high school. We’ll also introduce the regional Southern Oregon Success work being done to address ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences Study) and promote Self-Healing Communities. The goal for this event is to recruit new community partners to improve educational, health and economic outcomes for children, families, and our region. To learn more about this event to be held at the Rogue Valley Country Club, 2660 Hillcrest Rd, Medford, go to If you have questions, please contact Peter Buckley.

Community Voice: Rebecca

Why We Focus on
The Social Determinants of Health

My biological parents were alcoholics and addicts, and my brother and I were adopted when I was five. I was living in California then and the State didn’t place much priority on family unification. I was old enough to know my mom and to feel the loneliness and emptiness of not having her in my life.

As an adult, I look back on my time in a foster family and I realize they took care of me in their way, meaning they provided for my basic needs. But I often wondered during those years why they bothered to adopt us since it didn’t seem they liked us very much. We always knew we were outsiders, not really part of their family. They would say: ”You’re not like us. You’re going to grow up to be just like your real parents.”

bcae5c69-89e7-4c74-bafb-758707942e79I can look back at it now and see how I made it hard for them. I never felt they were my real parents. I didn’t feel any compassion or love from them and I needed that. I also think they just didn’t have the skills to know how to deal with us. They had their own kids, but we were something different. They could have used more training. I don’t know if you can screen for caring, but that seems important. The relationship with my foster family is better now that I’m doing better.

I started dabbling in alcohol and drugs when I was 14, and got serious with meth when I was 17. That’s when I met my first serious boyfriend, who was older than me and using. He was pretty abusive and I wanted to go back with my foster parents, but they wouldn’t take me and I found out they had an arrangement for me to stay with him.

I felt pretty trapped and didn’t see a lot of choices, so when I turned 18 I joined the navy. If I could have made things different then, I would wish for more choices. If I had any, I didn’t know about them and the navy seemed like my only option. Halfway through boot camp, I knew it was a bad fit and I found a way to get out.

I stayed clean for a little bit but found my way back to using. It seemed like every relationship I got into made me feel more stuck. They always became abusive and unsafe. And I was a co-dependent partner. I did whatever my boyfriend said – I committed crimes, I took the charges for the crimes they committed.

In the midst of this time I went to drug court in California. I did the treatment and stayed clean for a while, but I didn’t follow through, I didn’t get a sponsor. Everything was a suggestion on what I could do – no one stayed on me — and I didn’t think I needed it once I was clean.

About eight years ago, I really wanted to know my biological family and I reached out to an aunt. Soon after, my uncle came and took me to their home in Oregon. Again, I was clean for a while. Again, I got in a relationship and we were both using.

That ended and I met my husband, who also was using. I became pregnant with my first daughter and, as soon as I found out, I was clean. I didn’t start using again until the month after she was born. Then I got pregnant with my second daughter and started using two days before she was born. Child Welfare was in the picture and they mandated treatment, but it always seemed like a suggestion. I was staying clean, but I wasn’t doing the follow through to keep clean.

Child Welfare placed me in the MOMS program, which is a case management program for mothers with substance abuse problems. I got terminated for falling asleep with my baby and they sent me home with my kids, which was strange to me since they seemed to be telling me I wasn’t a good mother. I was on my own then and clean for about a month.

Soon Child Welfare was pounding on my door, but I kept ignoring them. They wanted me to go to OnTrack but I was still thinking I could do it on my own.

Then they took my kids and I understood the stakes. I think that’s what needed to happen.

I got a bed at ARC and stayed for five weeks. I was clean for 100 days and then had some alcohol, and then I was back to meth. I learned I had to stay away from anything mind altering, not just my drug of choice. That was an important lesson.

My husband and I were together throughout this time, and I kept protecting him from getting caught because I was hoping he could get the kids back. It wasn’t working.

Finally, it just hit me that I was powerless. I was so tired of holding it all and not making progress, seeing the same patterns play out over and over. I needed help and I needed to start trusting people. I started sharing my story with the ladies at the Annex where my daughters were staying, and they were always there for me. I started trusting my CASA worker, and my Child Welfare case manager. Once I told them everything, things started to get serious.

A permanency hearing was scheduled and, when we realized we might lose our children for good, my husband and I went into treatment together. A bed opened up at the MOMS program again and I reenrolled. This time it was harder—I had to prove I wanted it, and that was good for me.

The Friday before Mother’s Day, we moved into the OnTrack Crisis House and I got my kids back. It was such a blessing. It made everything worth it. Those four months were the best of our lives. We felt so close to everyone there. We built some great relationships.

I completed my treatment and finished probation about the same time, and I was suddenly scared that I didn’t have enough support, that I wasn’t ready to be on my own. So I just kept going—to the Annex, and the Crisis House, and the day treatment—to the places that supported me. And soon I was supporting them as a volunteer and a mentor. I completed the Foundation for Recovery Peer Support Specialist Training. I got a sponsor and did the steps.

I never say, “I’ve got this.” Every time I said that in the past, I failed. What’s worked for me was realizing I had to surrender. I had to give up fighting. I had to pass the DHS tests and prove myself ready to change. I had to switch from doing it for the kids to doing it for myself. I started down the path to recovery because I wanted to get my kids back, and as soon as possible. But I had to do the hard work and learn the hard lessons first.

What works for me is helping other people who are going through what I’ve seen. That’s so rewarding and that’s what keeps me going.

The four of us are together now, and I have this great job at the Family Nurturing Center as a Parent Mentor. I feel so blessed, because a lot of places won’t hire you with my history. I find that odd since no one knows better than me how hard it is and how much help you need along the way. Having a mentor who knows what you’ve been through is really important. As it is, our funding and range of people we’re allowed to serve is so limited. There are so many more who could use our help. I only wish we were free to help everyone who’s stuck and lost.

A Salute to Mary Curtis Gramley, Founding Director of Southern Oregon’s Early Learning Hub

Southern Oregon’s founding Early Learning Hub Director, Mary-Curtis Gramley, is very careful with her words. And she has not retired. “I’m not using the retirement word,” she shares. “I can’t predict what I will do next, but there is so much unfinished work for young children and their families, I do hope I’ll be getting into something.”

Whatever the word, Mary-Curtis, left a gap in the early childhood development community b0032870-9981-4349-b859-3f8649e12ab0when she left her position recently as SOELS Early Learning Hub Director, replaced by the very able Rene Brandon (see separate article).

When asked what a perfect world would look like for young children and their families – a world where she could in fact retire – Mary-Curtis responded, “Every family should have the right to conceive of their own version of a perfect world. We cannot usurp that right. But there are a few essential ingredients” that should be part of every child’s world:

  • Safety. Every child should know that their world is physically and emotionally safe.
  • Valued and Cared for. All children need to know connection with at least one competent, loving adult.

“Relationships are important to all of us, at all ages,” Mary-Curtis notes. “We desperately need each other, to feel responsible for each other, to feel and express kindness. And let’s not forget beauty—lots and lots of beauty should fill every child’s perfect world.”

Mary-Curtis was the Early Learning Hub Director for 18 months, but it can be harder to figure out how long she has been in the Early Childhood Development field. The labels can be challenging. “My focus of service has been young children and their families. Once you start looking at young children and their families, you immediately land in education, social services, health care, nutrition, and a host of other fields. It’s all intertwined in service to families.”

Whatever Mary-Curtis has been doing, she has been doing it long and well. She was creator, co-founder and executive director of the Family Nurturing Center, Director of Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) during a significant transition from being a part of the county structure to becoming a non-profit and able to serve more children , and taught many in our region working with young children and families today at Southern Oregon University.

“I think we often ignore the complexity of children because of their size,” Mary-Curtis muses. “Because they are small, we think they aren’t complicated, but they are. And when their needs aren’t met, their lives become much more complicated.”

And this touches on the importance and the breadth of the field Mary-Curtis has devoted much of her life to. “It takes intellect and creativity to meet the needs of children who are touched by public systems. All of us need to respect and value the challenge workers in this field at all levels face, and we need to provide them with the training, resources and salaries to match the complexity of the challenge.”

Mary-Curtis and her focus on the importance of family and what families need was the impetus of including Families in the Vision of Southern Oregon Success. During those early meetings in 2012 as participants from schools, social services, and nonprofits came together to conceive of a regionally shared agenda for improving high school graduation and workforce readiness, Mary-Curtis was the voice of the families and their children. We owe her a debt of gratitude in her strong advocacy for a vision that supports all children and families to thrive.

There is still much to do! And, thankfully, Mary-Curtis is nowhere near retiring.

A Message from Mary-Curtis
Since ending my time as Coordinator of the Hub, I have had some wonderful days in my flower garden and lots of time to reflect on the experience. As I thought of the many meetings, phone calls, reports and other activities, I felt a sense of gratitude for all the committed and hardworking individuals who invested time, ideas, suggestions, questions, and energy as we worked to create a more, equitable, efficient, and effective system of services. I think it was vital that we maintained focus on why we were trying to improve coordination and collaboration and why it matters. As I got a clearer sense of the breadth and diversity of the early learning community, I gained hope in the future and a belief in the potential for change. I also better understood that services for children and families, whether they focus on the needs of infants or youth, can have a greater impact if we perceive services wholistically and family-based. Efforts to work in concert across ages and programs are clearly worth the investment. I hope that the commitment will continue to grow and we will always remember that it is the people we serve. I want to wish the very best to SOELS, SORS and each of you as we work together to change the future for children and families in our community.


René Brandon Named New Director of Early Learning Hub

René Brandon was selected as the new Director of the Southern Oregon Early Learning Hub in July, moving down the street from prior work revolving around children, youth and families with Rogue Workforce Partnership and the Job Council. She has accepted her new position with great enthusiasm. “This is the position I’ve been hoping for,” René shared. “Working with this staff and our community partners, I have the opportunity to strengthen our early learning system to better identify and support children and families in need of services and better ensure that children will reach kindergarten prepared for success.”

cccf0e26-0cfc-412e-b81d-24978cc19dfdRené is particularly excited to work with the early learning, K-12, health, social service, parents, and business partners who share her belief that “what happens in the first five years of life has a greater impact on a person’s future than any other time. I’m also excited by the challenge and responsibility to better coordinate and align the early learning system to improve outcomes for young children and their families.”

René hit the ground running. She has been meeting individually with early learning stakeholders to get feedback on progress to date, challenges, ideas, and needs. “What I am learning,” she offers, “is that our partners, including community members at large, need to know what is happening in early learning. I am working on ways to clearly and concisely present the progress to date as well as the goals we are striving to attain. Everyone wants to see how the investments we are making are leading to the outcomes we set forth to achieve.”

The biggest challenge she has discovered is sustainability of the regional early learning system. “We don’t want to award funds to programs, even those doing great work, if they will only to have to lay off staff if a grant is not refunded. We need to identify and encourage ways that make it more likely that programs will invest early learning dollars in ways that strengthen the system rather than just infusing a program with additional funding for a period of time. We need to be able to confidently answer the question, ‘What is different in this community because of these investments?’”

While this is a big challenge faced by many new systems, René is hopeful. “Our region is blessed with so many committed partners in the sectors of K-12 education, early learning, health, social services, private business, and of course, families. It is this collective expertise and dedication to do the hard work necessary to create sustainable change in the ways in which families are identified and served, services are coordinated and delivered, and data is tracked and analyzed. We are only two years into operation as a hub and certainly still learning how to effectively do the work we are charged to do, but we will continue to learn the best ways to get the outcomes we want to see.”

One particularly promising note is that Southern Oregon Early Learning Hub has doubled in revenue this year—growing to $4.6 million for the biennium. “This increased funding goes directly into our local early learning system through 40 subcontracts with requirements to demonstrate effective partnerships with other entities in ways that strengthen collaboration and system building. For those of us who have been in the early childhood world for many years, this is a staggering number. Not too many years ago, very little investment was made in prevention – and an investment in early childhood is certainly an investment in prevention.”

Another recent development that excites René is the growing awareness of neuroscience and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) outside the early childhood development arena. “I feel so fortunate to be directing our early learning hub at a time in our history when funding, science, and public will are all in alignment with improving the system and services that support young children and their families.”

Moving the Needle

b2172965-10d5-4e6e-a276-53a9ffaa7f24Education Achievement Gap Showing Signs of Narrowing

The following article first appeared in the Boston Globe and was pulled, along with accompanying commentary, from the Nonprofit Quarterly.

Globe correspondent Megan Scudellari reports that researchers are noticing a welcome reversal in the decades long widening of the “achievement gap”—the variations in academic skills between low-income students and their better-off peers. The achievement gap shows up in many places, such as standardized test scores, class grades, and dropout rates, among many other success measures. This deficit can choke off progress and opportunity for poor and typical minority students throughout their academic careers.

But after decades of researchers, educators, and policymakers watching this gap grow by as much as 40 percent, the trends are very possibly turning in the opposite direction—at least for poor children entering kindergarten.

“Because income inequality and segregation have continued to grow, we expected that we would see a continuing or flattening out of the pattern. We certainly didn’t expect to see the gap narrowing over this time period,” says study coauthor Sean Reardon, a professor in the School of Education at Stanford University.

This good news is qualified. At this rate of progress, the authors of the study estimate it will take another 60 to 110 years for the gap to be eliminated for kindergartners.
In 1998 and 2010, early childhood assessors from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study program sat down with children at roughly 1,000 kindergartens around the country to measure students’ academic skills at the start of the school year.

Comparing information from those two years, Reardon and Portilla were surprised to find that by 2010 the school readiness gap between the rich and poor had narrowed—by 10 percent in math and 16 percent in reading. Gaps between racial groups, which have been declining for the last decade, continued to decline: white-black and white-Hispanic gaps decreased by roughly 15 percent across both subjects.

Scudellari reports that a companion research paper by Reardon and others looked at what might have caused these positive findings. Public awareness campaigns about the benefits of reading to children, better parent engagement, trips to libraries and museums, better-funded preschool programs, and the use of technology improved since 1998.

This positive uptick could be a momentary aberration. Since the research only measured progress to 2010, before the full effects of the Great Recession would be felt, the researchers worry that rising income inequality and segregation may be creating “too stiff a wind to sail against for very long.”

Education reform is a subject regularly reviewed by NPQ. Disparities in academic achievement are the result of a complex web of social, economic, and educational conditions; school funding issues not the least of them. The Education Trust, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization, and many others make the case that low-income students and racial minorities are concentrated in the lowest-achieving schools.

Whether closing the achievement gap for the nation takes 60 years or forever, we have opportunities in each of our respective communities and schools to do what we can to help that child achieve his or her greatest potential.

Welcome Allison Sweeney and Oregon’s Chief Science Officer Program!

Krissi Hewitt, Regional Education Partnership Policy Advisor for the Chief Education Office, f2f9fe78-499e-4739-b501-a01d002e126arecently contacted Southern Oregon STEM Hub Coordinator Steve Thorpe and SOESD Superintendent Scott Beveridge with a proposition: If they could put a proposal together in two days they could land an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer from the Student Voice Project with full wages covered by the State and the program. Scott and Steve immediately said, “yes!” and are excited to have Allison Sweeney on board and quickly finding her way.

Allison is the new Facilitator for the Chief Science Officer Program, a pilot initiative, started in Arizona, and intended to build an Oregon-wide network of young STEM leaders who will be empowered to inform and promote STEM opportunities.

As Allison explains, “This is a program for middle and high school students who are elected, by their peers, to be Chief Science Officers, (CSO). These CSOs then have the opportunity to meet with community partners, mentors, and other CSOs throughout their service area to provide a student perspective on things happening around the community. CSOs have the opportunity to bring STEM-related events to their school and peers, as well as to go on field trips to see and participate in fields relevant to STEM. Additionally, the CSOs attend a summer institute, where they gain leadership skills and learn more about their role as a CSO and how they serve as the student voice in the STEM community.”

Allison will focus her first year on building relationships with schools, community organizations, and industry partners to create a network of committed adults who will support the training and work of 50 CSOs who will be elected in Spring 2017. That number is expected to grow to at least 80 Chief Science Officers representing all 13 school districts in Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath Counties over the next three years. Allison will work closely with Steve Thorpe and Summer Brandon from ScienceWorks.

Allison is very enthusiastic about this opportunity for herself and the youth of our community: “I love that the main goal of the program is to increase student voice in the educational community. I think the CSO program has potential to be an awesome stepping stone for students to identify a possible career path. I also like that the program is new, because I have the unique opportunity to make my mark on it.

“The program being so new is also my greatest challenge. We have a semblance of a framework for it, however it has never been done in Southern Oregon. For this program to be successful, it is going to require a great deal of community collaboration and vision. Already in my first few days at SOESD, I’ve seen a lot of that, so I am confident that the CSO program will be supported and be a success!”

VISTA is the national service program designed to fight poverty. Authorized in 1964 and founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993.

Allison says she became interested in AmeriCorps VISTA as she began to plan her post-graduation life from the University of Oregon. “I knew I wanted to make a difference and lend a helping hand where I can. The interesting approach to AmeriCorps is that they warn you that you can’t change the world. Instead, during your service you are working to make a local difference. Whether that is a whole community, neighborhood, school, or even a single student, is determined throughout your individual assignment. I like this way of thinking because it doesn’t just put a Band-Aid on issues. Instead AmeriCorps volunteers are working hands-on to spark genuine change.”

Southern Oregon Success Partners Step Up to Support Fund Raising Goal

ba41d4f4-7e34-4818-957e-88587c355633Following the success of our June Key Leaders Convening on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), several partners stepped up to help meet our 2016-17 fund raising goal with new contributions of almost $36,000. All funds received are used to support SORS vision and staffing in support of community-driven goals.

AllCare Health committed $25,000 to build on its earlier commitment of $20,000 in the prior fiscal year. Jackson Care Connect committed $10,000 in support of backbone activities. Other partners combined to add almost $1,000 to the new total of $128,250. This brings us to a little more than 46% of our overall goal of $278,300.

AllCare Health is an integrated health organization offering care to the communities of southern Oregon. AllCare Health delivers a range of medical, dental and behavioral health services including insurance coverage for Medicare Advantage, OHP and PEBB members as well as e-health services. AllCare is led by the people who know their members the best – their own providers. Because of this, AllCare Health is committed to improving the overall health of the communities they serve through building lasting partnerships with effective community-based programs.

Jackson Care Connect (JCC) serves the people of Jackson County as an Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) Coordinated Care Organization. JCC brings physical, behavioral and oral health care together, to make it easier for members to get the care they need. Their mission is to help members of our community prevent illness and respond effectively to health issues. JCC partners with other organizations to explore innovative projects that promote a healthy Jackson County. They partner with clinical and community organizations to connect members with appropriate whole person care.

SORS operates from a lean budget, with administrative costs absorbed by fiscal sponsor Southern Oregon Education Service District. SORS has taken a leadership role in the regional Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) work, unifying under Self-Healing Communities, as well as building understanding and awareness for collective impact as a collaborative framework. With the unique role of SORS within the education, health, human services, public safety, and workforce arenas, Southern Oregon has an ideal opportunity to promote a common vocabulary, a common understanding and common approach across sectors.

SORS staff and volunteer leaders are reaching out to key leaders and funders across the region and the State to support this effort.

If you can support Southern Oregon Success with a contribution, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Peter Buckley or Seth Kaplan.

News & Training You, Your Organization and Our Communities Can Use

d8416832-aa8f-4bb5-93d2-9dbf91568306New Website for
Oregon Youth Development Council

The Oregon Youth Development Council has released its new website, a resource for best practices, policy recommendations and funding opportunities, a list of Council members and staff contacts, as well as staff blog posts from visits to communities around the state that is updated daily. The website can be found at:

The website includes youth development resource links and highlights eight policy areas including Re-engaging Dropout Youth; Student Supports and Graduation Readiness; Youth Workforce and Training; Juvenile Justice Equity Considerations; Foster Youth; Homeless and Runaway Youth; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth; and Youth Gang Prevention and Intervention. Each policy area includes a four-page policy brief, as well as a longer position paper that draws from the latest research, best practices, and recommendations for policy change. Each policy area also includes a list of additional resources.

Visit the Blog area of the website for photos and stories from youth-serving programs and community engagement meetings across the state. You will also see a button on the main page taking you to the YDC Superlist, where you can sign up for announcements regarding future funding opportunities and news announcements.

Medical Interpreter Training in Medford

Act quickly to get one of the few remaining slots for Medical Interpreter training in Medford, beginning November 26th. The training is being offered through Southern Oregon Education Service District with significant financial support from SO Health-e, the Regional Health Equity Coalition, to ensure that anyone can participate. The total cost for this 7-week program is only $50 for an organization or individual. All participants must be bi-lingual, at least 18, and have completed high school to be eligible.

This is an excellent opportunity to fill a well-paying need in a broad range of health settings. The registration for the Medical Interpreting Seminar is now open. The link is:

Youth Volunteers Throughout the U.S. Honored

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is a nationwide program that honors young people in grades five to 12 who are volunteering in their communities. The program’s goals are to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities. Youth who have engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred during the 12 months prior to the date of application are eligible to apply. Local Honorees are selected in November and from those winners two State Honorees (one middle level school student and one high school student) are chosen in each state and the District of Columbia. State Honorees receive an award of $1,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, for national recognition events. Out of the State Honorees, ten National Honorees are selected to receive an additional award of $5,000 as well as a $5,000 grant for a nonprofit organization of their choice. The application deadline is November 8, 2016. Visit the Prudential website for online application information.

211info Train-the-Trainer Forums

99376439-d320-4d96-b9f6-2388112c9e66211 is the Federal Communications Commission’s three-digit dialing code for information and referral. 211info serves every Oregon county. Certified staff provide referrals weekdays, 8am to 6 pm, using phone calls, texts and emails, and an online resource database. Top needs are referrals for utility assistance, rental assistance, shelter, food, dental and transportation programs. Bilingual staff can take calls in 10 languages, and all staff have access to a translation service that can assist with more than 140 languages.
Attend one of the trainings listed below so that you can share 211info with your coworkers, clients, patients, and students. Learn about new services, share your community’s specific needs and resources, and take away materials such as magnets, window clings, cards, and posters that remind you to share 211info.

Refreshments will be served. To register, click on one of the locations.

Location Address Date Time
IV Family Resource Center 535 E River St.
Cave Junction
Fri, Nov 4, 2016 1:30–4:00 pm
Marie Hill Conference Room 510 NW 4th St.
Grants Pass
Mon, Nov 7, 2016 1:30–4:00 pm
Ruch Branch Library 7919 Hwy 238
Tues, Nov 8, 2016 1:30–4:00 pm
Ashpole Community Center 17 S Buchanan Ave.
Eagle Point
Wed, Nov 9, 2016 1:30–4:00 pm
Jackson County Health & Human Services 140 S Holly St.
Thurs, Nov 10, 2016 1:30–4:00 pm

For more info, contact: Carrie Prechtel (541-210-8631) or Susan Fischer (541-471-4106) .

Thanks to Our Volunteer Leadership!

de30c093-49ed-4dde-9c2b-49ac3a52dbeeSouthern Oregon Success is led by volunteer leadership who demonstrate their commitment to the children, youth, and families of Jackson and Josephine Counties on a daily basis. Our volunteer leadership drives the SORS’ agenda and rolls up their sleeves to do whatever is needed to move things forward. We are grateful for their continuing support!

Stewardship Committee: As a subgroup of the Steering Committee, the SORS Stewardship Committee assists SORS staff in creating Steering Committee Agendas, and coordinating the budget and work plan of SORS. The Stewardship Committee meets with SORS staff upon staff or committee member request as needed. Members of the Stewardship Committee include:

Jim Fong, Executive Director, Rogue Workforce Partnership
Kathy Bryon, Executive Director, Gordon Elwood Foundation
Scott Beveridge, Superintendent, Southern Oregon Education Service District

Steering Committee: The Steering Committee acts as the governance backbone and assumes responsibility for the performance of the SORS initiative. Whereas more traditional organizations are only responsible for their organization’s outcomes, and board members of traditional organizations focus on their fiduciary, strategic, governance and development responsibilities to the organization, the backbone board is different. Board members of backbones have all those responsibilities, but the role backbones play within the system requires board members additionally to:

  • Develop a Systems View
  • Advance Shared Responsibility
  • Create & Nurture a Collaborative Environment

Members of the Steering Committee include:

Amy Buehler, Children’s Area Manager, Jackson County Mental Health
Angela Warren, Collaboration Manager, Jefferson Regional Health Alliance
Belle Shepherd, Innovator Agent, Innovator Agent, Oregon Health Authority
Bob Lieberman, CEO, Kairos
Brian Shumate, Superintendent, Medford School District
Cathy Kemper-Pelle, President, Rogue Community College
Debbie Ameen, Director of Strategic Planning, All Care Health
Doug Mares, District Manager, Department of Human Services
Heidi Hill, Community Engagement Program Manager, Jackson Care Connect
Jennifer Johnstun, Director of Health Strategy, Primary Health
Jim Goodwin, Deputy Director, Josephine County Juvenile Justice
Joe Ferguson, Deputy Director, Jackson County Juvenile Justice
Karla McCafferty, Exec. Director, Options of Southern Oregon
Kirk Kolb, Superintendent, Grants Pass School District
Maggie Sullivan, Exec. Director, Health Care Coalition of Southern Oregon
Mary Ferrell, Executive Director, Maslow Project
Rene Brandon, Director, Southern Oregon Early Learning Hub
Rita Sullivan, Executive Director, OnTrack
Steve Thorpe, Faculty, Southern Oregon University
Teresa Sayre, Superintendent, Phoenix-Talent School District
William North, CEO, Rogue Community Health