United Negro College Fund (UNCF) stands as a beacon of educational empowerment, holding the distinction of being the nation’s largest and most impactful minority education organization. Revered for its resonant slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” UNCF is committed to breaking down barriers and ensuring that Black students have the tools, resources, and opportunities they need to pursue higher education. 

One of UNCF’s transformative initiatives, the “Portfolio Project,” exemplifies its dedication to fostering academic excellence among college-bound Black students. This initiative provides comprehensive support, resources, and scholarships, serving as a catalyst for the aspirations of the next generation. Through the Portfolio Project, UNCF not only guides students towards Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) but also supports their journey to any university or college of their choice. 

The Portland UNCF chapter has been making a significant impact through its 14-week Portfolio Project hosted on the campus of Warner Pacific University. Every Saturday since August 26th, students have engaged in an array of college prep workshops, covering essential topics such as college admissions, financial aid, scholarships, resume writing, professionalism, social media impact, teen mental health awareness, vocational trades, and apprenticeships. 

The grand culmination of this enriching program took place on Saturday, November 11th, where students proudly presented their portfolios, showcasing the wealth of knowledge and skills they had acquired in preparation for their collegiate journeys. Dr. Brian Johnson, the President of WPU, extended a warm welcome to students, families, friends, and community members, sharing inspiring words that underscored the profound connection between careers and callings: “Careers fill pockets, callings fulfill people and careers linked to callings fulfill greater purposes,” he said. 

Dr. Darilis Garcia, the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success and Engagement at WPU, expressed pride in her role as a mentor for UNCF. “I am proud to have been able to witness the hard work of all the students in the portfolio project for the past 14 weeks,” said Dr. Garcia. “The partnership between WPU and UNCF is synergetic. As the Pacific Northwest’s most diverse university, the students served by UNCF are the students we serve here at WPU.” 

We are grateful for this partnership that allows us to expand our university’s mission to the Portland community and beyond.