A Message from the President
"Opportunity Youth" is the new term coined in education, employment, and social service sectors that appropriately reflects the youth served by POIC + RAHS through alternative high school education and workforce development programming. Opportunity Youth are identified based on their school enrollment status and point-in-time employment—youth age 16 to 24, are not enrolled in school and not currently employed. These youth represent Oregon’s best opportunity to improve overall educational outcomes.
I want to share with you some important facts that came out of the “Opportunity Youth Report 2016,” by the Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative.
- At 24 percent, black youth represent a disproportionately large number of Opportunity Youth, while being only 6 percent of the population.
- Among Opportunity Youth, 61 percent live far below the federal poverty level.
- Many Opportunity Youth are not only supporting themselves, but also have children of their own. Approximately 33 percent of Opportunity Youth females live with their own children. Of the female youth age 16 to 24 who gave birth within the last year, 47 percent are Opportunity Youth.
These are the youth we serve.
These findings reaffirm our commitment at POIC+ RAHS to the future success of youth and young adults, providing the highest levels of services in education, mentoring, family outreach, and employment training and placement.
Joe McFerrin II
Joe McFerrin II -
President& Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Joe McFerrin II, President/CEO of Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center and Rosemary Anderson High School, has built and guided the development of the organization.
In 2003 he was appointed President/CEO of POIC and its programs, and under his guidance the organization doubled in size.
Joe currently sits on boards for the Portland Public Schools' High Schools Action Team, AdvancED State Accreditation Commission, the YMCA Board of Managers, the Portland Community College-Cascade Campus Bond Advisory Committee and Grief Watch.
Joe McFerrin II has been with POIC + RAHS since 1995 and has served as President and CEO for the past 13 years. He holds a B.S. in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration from Portland State University. Mr. McFerrin currently sits on boards for AdvancED State Accreditation Commission and Grief Watch; serves on the Black Male Achievement Portland Steering Committee,
Judge Nan Waller’s Juvenile Justice Task Force, Multnomah County’s Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC) and Youth and Gang Violence Coordinating Council; and is Vice President of the Executive Directors’ Association of the OIC of America.
Chief Operating Officer(COO)
Bob Brandts, aka “Mr. Bob,” is a man who clearly loves what he does. You can tell the moment you walk in his office, which is completely wallpapered with student photos.
Originally from Massachusetts, Mr. Bob came to POIC + RAHS in 2009 as an Americorps Volunteer, serving as the school’s Student Activities Coordinator during his first year. In addition to student council and community service activities, Mr. Bob was responsible for the first RAHS prom in 2010, which he still counts as one of his personal highlights during his time with POIC. After that first year, he became After-School and Work Opportunity Training (WOT) Director. During his third year, Mr. Bob was named Director of Operations, a position that led to his installment as Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2015.
As COO, Mr. Bob says his role is simply to “make sure things run smoothly every day with staff, students, and resources.” Mr. Bob is responsible for keeping his eye on all four RAHS campuses, as well other POIC programs, including Work Opportunities Training (WOT), Mentoring, Youth Programs, and the Community Healing Initiative (CHI) program. He is also the school’s go-to for snacks, making him extremely popular among the students, and staff!
What keeps him at POIC + RAHS? “I love being a part of helping to alter the course of young people’s lives. And I really enjoy working with the great team of people we have here at POIC.”
Not only has RAHS grown under Mr. Bob’s direction, but his “team” outside of work is growing, too, as he and his wife, Patty, recently welcomed their first grandchild, Riley Ava, into the world. His two adult daughters, Jen and Amber, also live in Portland and own a yoga studio, Modo Yoga, in SE Portland.
Bob Brandts -
Rodney O'Dell -
Chief Financial Officer(CFO)
Rodney O’Dell joined POIC +RAHS as the first Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in December 2013, a role that was funded by a timely grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust. Over his tenure, the organization has nearly doubled in size from a $4.6M general operating budget in 2013-2014 to $8.7M in 2016-2017. Rodney’s three-person team handles the day-to-day fiscal planning, cash forecasting, accounting, payroll and financial reporting along with accountability reporting for more than two dozen public grants and contracts.
Rodney is a career-long accountant. Born and raised in Oklahoma, he found his calling as a teenager, working in his father’s heating and air conditioning business and completing his first year of accounting study while in high school. Upon completion of a B.S. degree in accounting at Oklahoma Christian University, he became a CPA and has worked as an internal auditor, accountant, and financial consultant in the oil and gas and healthcare industries before focusing on governmental accounting for over 10 years. Making the switch to a non-profit organization was easy for Rodney. “We are a small organization and work closely together as a team. All of our individual efforts provide a tangible contribution to the successes that we achieve at POIC+RAHS.”
In his free time, Rodney is a passionate student of bluegrass music playing guitar, mandolin, and occasionally banjo. He enjoys camping and outdoor music festivals and has always loved bicycling.
Director of Community Outreach& Compliance Officer
Julia Mitchell was recruited in 2010 to be the Executive Assistant to POIC + RAHS President and CEO Joe McFerrin II. Her role grew quickly, including managing the organization’s gang outreach contracts. In fall 2015, Julia was named Director of Community Outreach and Compliance Officer.
In this new position, Julia manages a staff of 12, working closely with the Office of Youth Violence Prevention, Portland and Gresham police bureaus, and Multnomah County. Among her duties, Julia is a member of the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council’s Youth and Gang Violence Subcommittee.
Before POIC + RAHS, Julia worked in other nonprofits serving children and families. She spent 10 years as a therapist for severely emotionally disturbed children.
At POIC + RAHS, what she enjoys the most is getting to impact the community where she was raised. “I get to do what’s near and dear to my heart: working with children,” she said. “It’s an honor to get paid to do what I love.” She and her family live in Northeast Portland, the same part of the city where she grew up.