• Young, Gifted and Black

    Young, Gifted and Black brings together an interrelated community of students from various backgrounds – racial, socioeconomic, religious, cultural – to create a rich culture for growing the mind and the heart of the individual student and the school itself. Experiencing diversity prepares students for life-long learning in an increasingly interdependent world. It opens minds organically; merely by being a part of a mixed group students expand themselves, their world and their knowledge. Young, Gifted and Black highlights Portland Public Schools’ and the community’s dedication to celebrate the success of our Black students.

    This is the fifth year that we have honored Black students who are exceling academically and in the community. The students being honored this year were selected from a pool of over 85 applicants. The honorees represent unique backgrounds, experiences, family structures, home language, ethnicity, culture, neighborhood, school and grade level. What these young people have in common is their commitment to achieve, despite the many obstacles life has presented to them. This unified celebration reframes the achievement debate for Black students.

    Education is not just about acquiring knowledge but motivating someone to want to learn, both for its own sake and for advancement. As W. B. Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” Teachers, administrators, counselors and other support staff are the catalyst for fueling the fire of our Young Gifted and Black students. The communication of student success gives us all hope and encourages us to make changes that will eliminate previously unacknowledged barriers.

    It is because of YOU that we are celebrating the fifth year of Young, Gifted and Black. Without fuel—your resources, time and energy—the vehicle of this courageous endeavor would stall. “We are a movement by ourselves, but we are a force when we are together.” (Neyo)

    Esther R. Harris
    Special Education Family & Community Liaison
    Portland Public Schools

    Andrea Wade
    Program Coordinator
    Portland Public Schools


     Young Gifted and Black Honorees 2014
    Download a pdf of the 2014 Young, Gifted & Black honorees

      Mohamad Abdalla 
    5th Grade
    Markham K-5 School
    Mohamed Abdulahi 
    5th Grade
    Rosa Parks K-5 School
    Michael Belcha 
    Sophomore
    Jefferson High School
      Javon Carter 
    Senior
    Grant High School
    Shatoria Cherisme 
    Junior
    Franklin High School
    Robert Collins 
    8th Grade
    Jason Lee K-8 School
      Toriandre Givens 
    8th Grade
    Woodlawn PK-8 School
    Enora Hall 
    5th Grade
    Trillium Charter School
    Taylor Hall-Debnam 
    Senior
    Grant High School
      Alexandra Harrison 
    Junior
    Roosevelt High School
    Mykia Hernandez-Taylor 
    Junior
    Metropolitan Learning Center
    Hawi Hussen 
    Senior
    Roosevelt High School
      Benjamin Kitoko 
    Sophomore  
    Roosevelt High School
    Kumasi Luckett 
    Junior
    Madison High School
    Fatuma Mohamed 
    4th Grade
    Scott K-8 School
      Linnea Rohdin-Bibby 
    Senior
    Lincoln High School
    Tanysha Ross 
    Senior
    Grant High School
    Khadija Salah 
    Senior
    Cleveland High School
      Talia Sanders 
    Kindergarten
    Sabin PK-8 School
    Danielle Thomas 
    Senior
    Madison High School
    Kinji Tlehhema 
    6th Grade
    Harrison Park K-8 School