Casey Gilbert is the Executive Director of Portland Downtown, a nonprofit that supports the city’s mission to be a vibrant hub for businesses, residents, and tourists. In addition to promoting major community events, Portland Downtown also partners with LearningWorks’ Service Works program to engage youth making amends for minor offenses and rebuild positive connections to the community. Service Works creates meaningful opportunities for youth to give back by volunteering for a food pantry, serving a community meal, or rehabilitating public spaces by removing graffiti.
Reflecting on Portland Downtown’s partnership with LearningWorks, Casey says, “LearningWorks is a treasure! In addition to English Language + Literacy and Youth Building Alternatives programs, LearningWorks provides opportunities for community service through the Service Works program. Youth engagement is key to creating well-rounded, confident young adults–and Service Works has an added benefit of helping so many local nonprofits with the addition of outstanding volunteers. Portland Downtown has been honored to partner with LearningWorks’ Service Works team to remove graffiti, a program that is both award-winning and delivers results for the youth who are involved. An added bonus is a vibrant downtown, as our beautiful and historic properties are kept free of graffiti, thanks to the participants engaged in Service Works. Congratulations, LearningWorks! Here’s to 50 more impactful years in Portland.”
Photography courtesy of Smith Galtney | www.smithgaltney.com