Recently, members of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office participated in an event that gave students from Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) and Rosemary Anderson High School (RAHS) the opportunity to connect with professionals working in our community.
The meet and greet, which included tacos for lunch, gave students a chance to ask questions about career opportunities in a variety of fields. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office had multiple representatives at the event including Senior Deputy District Attorney Glen Banfield; Deputy District Attorneys Shannon Erskine, Mariel Mota and Anna Fuller; Victim Advocates Malia Bruni and Chanel Thomas and Investigator Joshua Johnson. There were also representatives from the Portland Police Bureau, Portland Fire & Rescue, Adidas, Nike and Daimler Trucks North America.
“It was great interacting with the students and hearing about their dreams for the future,” Victim Advocate Chanel Thomas said. “Some of the students we talked with didn’t know the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office had a Victim Assistance Program. It was fun for Malia and me to show them that there are other careers in the DA’s Office besides being a prosecutor.”
The event started with an icebreaker so the students and guests got to know each other on a personal level.
“Honestly, I was a bit nervous going into the lunch because it felt like I was going back to high school, an experience I did not really enjoy,” said Deputy District Attorney Shannon Erskine. “Once we sat down and started talking over lunch, it was great telling the students about what we do here at the DA’s Office. The students were full of stories about their lives and future plans. I’m really glad I could be a part of this event.”
Many of the students had a clear vision of what they wanted to do after graduation. One young woman talked about her desire to become a homicide detective. Another student talked about touring the courthouse and meeting with judges. At the same time, the students opened up about the hardships they face, such as graduating, finding a job, dealing with money, and pregnancy.
“This was an opportunity to show the next generation of career professionals that we all have stories to tell,” Thomas said. “Many of the students were excited to see the relatability we share. We’ve all had struggles to get where we are in our careers and the students recognized that.”
POIC and RAHS are committed to the future success of at-risk youth through the age of 25. POIC connects youth affected by poverty, family instability and homelessness with education through Rosemary Anderson High School and career training and development.
The organization has four campuses throughout Portland to best serve the community. The latest numbers provided by POIC and Rosemary Anderson High School show that the non-profit serves more than 700 students, maintains a 90% graduation rate and has 200 job trainees.
Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director