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Today was an extraordinary day for a group of homeless Portland teenagers. They graduated from high school.  Over the past few years, they’ve worked hard to change the trajectory of their young lives and reinvent a promising future via hard work and education.  Today they arrived on the threshold of a better future sans the love, support, and encouragement of solid parentage.

I volunteer with Outside In, a social service organization that addresses the needs of homeless and other marginalized people in Portland. Without their help, this day may not have happened for these promising individuals. I’ve attended many graduations over the years but none of them has ever felt so joyous.  I wanted to congratulate each of these graduates and wish them well on the road ahead.

Check out more about preventing the tragedy of homeless youth.

If you want to get involved with helping area homeless youth check out It takes a whole village and many of us have much to give in terms of our time, expertise, or financial assistance.

Update: Outside In posted photos from the graduation ceremony on their Facebook page.