Self Enhancement, Inc.

Alexis and her twin sister Shyann were brand new to the SEI family; they have been in foster care for most of their young lives, bouncing from family member to family member until finally being matched with their foster where they've resided for the last nine years.

Staff noticed the girls because they were both so quiet and introverted. They would walk down the halls at their school with their heads and eyes to the ground only to look up to walk into class, the lunchroom or at dismissal to exit the building. Staff realized they had to get them in SEI and began engaging the girls in the hall, sharing compliments and a couple of meals. As they began to gain the girls’ trust they told them about SEI, the multitude of options, classes, events, partnerships, and services... they listened.

Ultimately the girls decided to come and check out the program and were visibly overwhelmed with the positive reactions and acceptance given to them not only by staff but the other kids in the program as well. The girls found a place where it didn't matter if they were in foster care and it didn't matter what their story was, all that mattered was that they were among others who accepted them. Since then, the twins now have academic and social goals; they've made new friends, participated in (SRB) Sisters Reflecting Beauty (a gender-specific self-empowering class,) a cooking class and a computer programming class. By year's end the girls walked down the halls with their heads held high with laughter and smiles on their faces.

Program Area: 
Primary Address: 
4803 NE 7th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211
United States