Professional mentor Lauren builds a gingerbread house with the youth she serves.

In these times of uncertainty, one thing we know for sure is that our future is directly linked to the future success of youth in our community. Friends of the Children–Portland impacts generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors—12-plus years, no matter what.

Our model is unique. We select kindergartners who are facing the most barriers and invite them to be part of our program for 12½ years. Each youth in our program is then paired with a personal professional mentor, whom we call a Friend. Friends help youth navigate complicated systems, overcome adversity, and grow into the adults they want to be. This model began in Portland 27 years ago, and it has since grown to serve thousands of youth across the country; the Portland chapter is now serving 500 youth in the Portland Metro Area.

Friends of the Children-Portland is committed to impacting generational change by walking alongside youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors.

As a community, Portland has been through a lot over the past year. It is time to come together to celebrate what makes Portlanders special: our commitment to youth and our love of music. Friends of the Children–Portland has partnered with KGW for our first-ever We Are Friends Music Festival. This is a celebration of achievement and a movement toward generational change. We aim to inspire viewers to care about something bigger than themselves and join our movement toward change through the power of music and friendship.

Friends believe in youth and help them find their spark.

We offer 58 minutes to pour our hearts out, lay down the existence of Friends of the Children–Portland, dance toward change, rhyme with the beat, invest in the youth, and come together as a community of one. Don’t miss your chance to spend an hour with Pink Martini, Portugal. The Man., The Darrell Grant Trio, Mike Phillips, The Slants, and special appearances by Marv & Rindy Ross, and youth and staff at Friends of the Children-Portland, all hosted by Drew Carney and Traci Rossi.

Tune in or log in on December 17 at 7 pm on KGW8 or KGW YouTube Channel. Put it on your calendar. Learn more about this festival and Friends of the Children–Portland by visiting friendspdx.org.

What else do you have planned?

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