Portland/Multnomah County, Oregon


  • Community name: Portland/Multnomah County
  • Community or city website
  • Population: 583,776
  • Graduation rate: 63.7%
  • Youth poverty rate: 18.0% 


Portland/Multnomah County has been named one of America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People for the first time. The county is improving the lives of its youth by helping build their leadership skills through opportunities for them to participate in government meetings, interact with school administrations and get involved with regional nonprofits. The Multnomah Youth Commission acts as the official youth policy body and works closely with the Office of the Mayor. Among other noteworthy county initiatives, the Oregon Mentors and Summer Youth Connects programs unite youth with adults to learn about the value of education and the business world. Special community outreach programs such as the Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council ensure that all members of the community have access to healthy, affordable food choices.

Community Programs

  • Cradle to Career Council looks at education through a continuum from early childhood throughout high school and provides additional funding in the form of target donations and investments to programs that address the needs of the youth population.
  • Multnomah Youth Commission is the official youth policy body that participates on local councils and decision making bodies, allowing young people to make their voices heard within local government.
  • Oregon Mentors is the state's youth mentoring partnership and serves children ages five to 25.
  • Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Community schools work to support families and children by providing recreational activities that connect school curriculum and after-school activities.
  • Summer Youth Connect program is designed for grades nine to 12 that matches young people with adults for college exploration, mentoring and internships so students can better understand the connection between the academic and working worlds.
  • Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council has worked to make healthy food an affordable choice as part of the Portland Plan since 2002.
  • The Healthy Active Schools Program works to implement policy strategies to promote healthy eating and physical activity for young people in schools.

Youth Voices

Participating in the MYC has been one of the most crucial activities in my life. Being a youth commissioner has given me skills and opportunities I would not have otherwise. For Portland to have a youth commission that advises it on policy shows the trust and investment Portland has in its youth.