If it wasn’t for the power of sports teams and the coaches and teachers surrounding him, PLF President, Anthony Jordan, would not have broken through the cycle of poverty. Outside of his gang involvement, the only adult men who could speak into Anthony’s life were coaches, mentors and teachers. Between Donnie Mcpherson (teacher and coach) and Kenny Washington (mentor), these two men challenged him to change.
Anthony began coaching young people in 1996 and left his job at Self Enhancement Inc. in 1997 to serve as a Director for Young Life. Anthony co-founded Portland Leadership Foundation in 2009, where he serves as President. Most important to Anthony is coaching and mentoring young athletes. He is known to say, “20 years from now, it won’t be about wins or losses. I want to know, will these young men and women be wonderful fathers and mothers, great husbands and wives, and productive citizens in our city?”
Donna has worked in the context of the local church, Christian and public schools and local non-profits. She holds degrees in Communications and Urban Teacher Leadership and has provided trainings and coaching for national organizations and conferences. In addition to her work with the Portland Leadership Foundation as the Director of Champions Academy, Donna serves as a consultant and trainer in urban youth leadership programs and co-founder of The Voices Project, a network of African American and other leaders of color engaged in lifting the voice of the marginalized and engaging and influencing the broader culture for systemic change.
Lionel Gay is a 2006 graduate of Jefferson High School. He began his service journey 2002 as a Freshman with Young Life as a student leader at Jefferson. By his senior year, Lionel became a middle school head leader with Wyld Life and through that service, his passion, his heart to influence and help youth was fully ignited. In 2009 Lionel transitioned his service to the Portland Leadership Foundation through his deep relationship with President, Anthony Jordan. Through continued volunteer service and support with PLF, Lionel was a perfect fit to join the full-time staff in 2016 as Area Coordinator with the launch of our new Champions Academy program.