Building Community, Building Lives
Deanna was walking in nearby Lents Park when she first noticed PYB. Deanna, who is now 20, had dropped out of school in 10th grade. She had been living in a homeless shelter with her mother and sister when her mother developed a terminal illness, and passed away shortly after. “I had been spending all my time taking care of my mom, and when she was gone, I needed something to fill my days,” she recalls.
Although her own mother did not graduate from high school, she had higher aspirations for her daughter. “My mom always wanted me to do to better, to have a better future, education, career, even college,” says Deanna. Having a career and going to college seemed remote possibilities at the time, but since enrolling at PYB, Deanna is on a new track. “The way I see it, my mom’s death created a new life for me, and PYB was meant to happen.”
Deanna earned her GED at PYB and entered Portland Community College with two scholarships, and is exploring career options in nursing or design. She credits PYB with helping her create these opportunities. According to Deanna, "PYB isn't like other schools. We all work at our own pace here, and the staff give us all the support we need. Wherever you want to go, whatever you want to be, PYB will get you there."