Celebrate 40 Years With Us!

Join us on September 21 for our Sip & Share event to learn more about IRCOand commit to creating a more inclusive community for our immigrant and refugee neighbors. 

IRCO’s mission is to promote the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy and inclusive multi-ethnic society. We’ve worked to uphold our mission for 40 years, and as we look forward, we can’t do it without you!

Make a gift of $40 for 40 years 
of service today! 

Summer School Trip to Adidas

IRCO's youth programs provide a 4-week summer school session at several schools in NE and SE Portland focused on literacy and math in an activity-based environment. 

On July 13, Adidas partnered with IRCO to bring 60 IRCO students from Reynolds High School and HB Lee Middle School to Adidas’ North American headquarters for a special field trip. “My favorite part of the day was experiencing my first time in an arena,” said Nispen Taro, a ninth grader from the Pacific Islander community. 

After playing sports and learning about the lifelong value of sports and exercise, Adidas gave each student a new pair of athletic shoes, a customized jersey, a backpack and shorts—and their choice of a soccer ball, basketball or football. 

The students then headed downtown for a pizza dinner at the Tiffany Center before catching the Portland Timbers’ tie game against Montreal at Providence Park. 

Launching New P-3 Program

IRCO is excited to be an active partner in the new P-3 (prenatal through 3rd grade) pilot program. Across Multnomah County there are only 8 pilot P-3 sites launched this year, and IRCO is directly involved in launching 3 of the 8 sites.

The P-3 program will enhance our ability to engage culturally diverse parents in school settings. Working in tandem with the SUN program and the school to develop a family-friendly school climate, P-3 staff will focus on including and supporting families of color and families who speak languages other than English.

“P-3 will play an integral role within the SUN Service System,” says Erika Levison, SUN Manager at Ventura Park, one of the P-3 pilot sites. “Beyond pre-K outreach, P-3 will deepen efforts to provide meaningful engagement by fostering parent-centered decision making throughout the school.”

The P-3 program complements IRCO’s existing school-based and school-linked programs—and increases our range of services to support students and families along a continuum spanning prenatal awareness and early childhood services through post-secondary exploration and college enrollment.      

Photo credit: Katharine Kimball

Youth Gain Summer
Work Experience
Through IRCO’s SummerWorks program, Leonel Guarardo Jr. (Leo) is working at Washington County Fairgrounds this summer on the grounds crew. “I dropped out of high school my junior year,” says Leo, who is now 18, attending alternative school in Hillsboro and working on his GED. “I actually care now, and I’m trying to get something done.”

SummerWorks (a partnership with Worksystems) provides valuable work experience to low-income youth ages 16-24. With over 900 paid internships available across Multnomah and Washington counties, we hope to place 1,000 youth in work experiences this summer, compared to 742 last year. Each participant has a job coach who supports them with work readiness training, ongoing job coaching, and networking opportunities to integrate experiences into education and career goals.

“I never used to think about this stuff, but now I’m thinking about what I’m going to do after my GED,” Leo says. “SummerWorks actually helps you. They care about you, and they want you to grow.”

Celebrating Our Senior Services Managers!

On June 22, IRCO celebrated our long-time Senior Services Manager, Nicole Baker-Wagner, and Nellie Salvador, who will step into that role. Immigrant and refugee elders gathered in the community center to help us say farewell to Nicole and welcome Nellie.

“I love working at IRCO and I will miss everyone,” says Nicole, who has served IRCO’s seniors for more than a decade. “IRCO is all about the people and the incredible sense of team work.”

Nellie has also worked at IRCO for over 10 years, in senior services outreach and case management, but her journey with IRCO actually began in 2000 as a newly arrived refugee from Uzbekistan. She has assisted countless clients and families, helping with our senior meal sites, running our citizenship classes, and advocating for our clients’ needs. “It is custom in my home country that a younger person stands up with respect in front of elders,” Nellie says of her choice to work with seniors. “I am learning a lot working with people who overcome so much in their lives.”

Newlyweds Give to IRCO

A big thank you to Rachel and Derek, who donated their wedding registry to IRCO! 

“We really wanted to choose a local charity that was helping to build a community in Portland. We are new to the area and love seeing your clients walking to and from the MAX to get to IRCO. We are huge supporters of immigrants and refugees that come to the U.S. to build a better life and know that it can be much more difficult than anything we have had to encounter. IRCO does such great work and we were honored to be able to include you in our big day.” 

Guests could make donations to IRCO or select gifts from a Target registry. So far we’ve distributed soccer balls and games, crayons and spiral notebooks, and essentials like baby wipes to our families with children and our youth programs!

Questions or ideas about giving to IRCO? Contact taylorg@irco.org

Upcoming Events!
July 30, 2016 
Refugee Adjustment Day
9 am-12 pm & 1-3 pm
Catholic Charities
2740 SE Powell Blvd
Pro bono lawyers help refugees adjust immigration status and apply for green cards.

September 1, 2016 
AFC Open House
3-5 pm
Asian Family Center
8040 NE Sandy Blvd
Join us to learn about all the ways we're growing!

September 21, 2016 
IRCO Sip & Share
6:30 pm
Northwest Health Foundation
221 NW Second Ave. Suite 30
Join us for a bite and get to know more about us!
RSVP to taylorg@irco.org 

Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization