Rotary volunteers cooked a pancake breakfast for the students, their children and family members

The Clackamas Sunrise Rotary members brought some holiday cheer to the PACE Program in Milwaukie this month, cooking a breakfast, complete with a visit from Santa and presents for teen parents and their children in North Clackamas School District.

PHOTO COURTESY: GRACE SAAD - Enjoying this month's PACE holiday breakfast in Milwaukie are Alondra Guerrero-Duarte, 18, her baby, Tony, 1, Clackamas Sunrise Rotarian AnnaMarie Davault and Alondras fiance, Luis Acevedo.Rotary volunteers cooked a pancake breakfast for the students, their children and family members, and a volunteer donned a Santa suit for photos for each student and their child. Every child received a stuffed animal, a book and a special gift, provided by a Sunrise Rotary member.

Students look forward to the event all year.

"It's really nice to know that people care about us," PACE student Daisy Torres said. "The Santa party is one of the best things we do all year. I love that they take our pictures and provide us with photos. I wouldn't be able to afford this on my own, so it's wonderful to have that memory to share with my daughter."

PHOTO COURTESY: GRACE SAAD - Clackamas Sunrise Rotarians preparing breakfast include (from left) Terry Mohr, Tim Isbell, David Lay, Darrel Hall and Eric Truitt.Throughout the school year, Rotary members put a lot of effort into helping the young parents in the PACE Program, North Clackamas School District's high school program for pregnant and parenting teens.

The Clackamas Sunrise Rotary has adopted the program, helping to support these vulnerable students to make sure they are successful in high school and beyond. They provide a scholarship for postsecondary education, attendance incentives and other support to help address the many barriers students face in completing school.

PACE serves students until they are 21 years old, and helps those in the North Clackamas School PHOTO COURTESY: GRACE SAAD - PACE student Abigail Borgman, 20, shares in the holiday breakfast festivities with PACE parent Elisabeth Martin as Clackamas Sunrise Rotarian Kathy Harrison serves pancakes and sausage.District receive a regular high school diploma. The program provides on-site, state-certified care for the students' children, bus transportation, smaller class sizes, and support for some of the district's highest needs students.

The program also connects students to resources outside of the school, including college and career, housing resources, mental health services, and mentoring groups that work specifically with teen parents.

If you are interested in learning more about the PACE Program or how to get involved as a volunteer, contact Grace Saad, the PACE coordinator, at 503-353-5946.

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