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 sixth year that we have honored Black students who are excelling 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 re-frames 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 sixth 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 2015
Download a pdf of the 2015 Young, Gifted & Black honorees

  Chime CJ Ambus
Boise-Eliot/Humboldt PK-8
Eighth Grade
Kendall Berry
Wilson High School
Eleventh Grade
Larry D.Brister, III
Jefferson High School
Twelfth Grade
  Kiara Davis
LEP High School
Eleventh Grade
Jensen A. Ervin
Self Enhancement Inc. Academy
Seventh Grade
Jurnee Evans
George Middle School
Eigth Grade
  Natashia Greene
Roosevelt High School
Twelfth Grade
Brianna Hayes
Grant High School
Twelfth Grade
Dreyme Jackson
Benson Polytechnic High School
Twelfth Grade
  Kaila Johnson
Lincoln High School
Twelfth Grade
Traveon Johnson
Sabin School PK-8
Eighth Grade
Lillie Jones
Roosevelt High School
Twelfth Grade
  Frances Chloe Jones-Whitman
Metropolitan Learning Center
Tenth Grade
Michaella Joseph
Cleveland High School
Twelfth Grade
Breonna Keller-Robbins
Wilson High School
Eleventh Grade
  Cinclair Mathies
Mount Tabor Middle School
Eighth Grade
Chloee C.Riley
King School PK-8
First Grade
Terrance Robinson
Pioneer High School
Tenth Grade
  Olai Scott
Beach PK-8
Fourth Grade
David Smith-Myles
Capitol Hill Elementary
Third Grade
Hunter Stewart
Grant High School
Twelfth Grade
  Alexis Whitney
Benson Polytechnic High School
Twelfth Grade
Ruby-Faye Williams
Sabin School PK-8
Kindergarten
Tsiyone Wolday
Boise-Eliot/Humboldt PK-8
Second Grade