The collective goal of the study centers is to help students of all ages become academically and socially successful. The study centers provide an atmosphere conducive to study with technology, resources, mentors, and volunteers to support academic success - all within the public housing family neighborhoods.
The Study Centers try to address the multitude of challenges public housing students face by helping them develop their talents while instilling a desire for lifelong learning, greater self-discipline, and a sense of academic responsibility.
Students in Portland public housing represent cultures from all over the world, most predominantly Somali, Sudanese, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Iraqi. Around 400 of the 1,100 youth in public housing attend one of the four study centers and their programs each year.
A brief history of the PHA Study Centers
The original education center opened at Riverton Park in September 1992. It was designed primarily to be an after-school program aimed at helping students become academically successful, promoting inter-generational learning, and performing as a liaison between the local schools and public housing families. Residents in the other family public housing developments heard of the center's success and requested that installations of the same type be replicated in their communities. The program has now grown to include four centers, one in each of the family developments and have expanded their hours of operation to provide support and resources for adults in the morning. The centers have become the community focal point for educational assistance and referral resources for residents of all ages.