Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus is hosting a “Future Connect” kick-off event today (Thursday), marking its launch in Washington County.

The event takes place from noon to 2 p.m. Speakers include Jeremy Brown, PCC’s new president; Birgitte Ryslinge, PCC Rock Creek president; Hillsboro and Beaverton city councilors Aron Carleson and Marc San Soucie; Deanna Palm, Hillsboro chamber president; and Future Connect student, Sara Agoot, an 18-year-old graduate from Century High School, who is studying to be a nurse.

Future Connect first launched in 2011, in Multnomah County. With funding from the city of Portland — matched by PCC and private funds raised by the PCC Foundation — the program has served high school students in Multnomah County who have identified as the first generation to attend college or are low-income.

Students receive a Future Connect scholarship to attend PCC that also provides two years of individualized academic advising and personalized coaching, which contributes to the high student success rate — Future Connect students in solid academic standing are retained at rates three times higher than similar students who don’t receive the specialized services the program offers.

The program serves more than 340 Multnomah County students representing 28 schools. And now — with support from the cities of Hillsboro and Beaverton — PCC is able to expand on the Westside.

Each city has earmarked $100,000 in funds to support the Washington County Future Connect program. Each city’s grant will be matched with funds raised by PCC and the PCC Foundation, to be put toward scholarships for the program. Additionally, the Meyer Memorial Trust has agreed to match donations to Future Connect.

Thursday’s event takes place in the campus’ Event Center, Building 9, 17705 N.W. Springville Road.

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