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New Board Member Welcome! Tony Hopson Sr.

posted May 14, 2013, 5:16 PM by Danna Johnston   [ updated May 14, 2013, 5:21 PM ]

We are pleased to announce the addition of our newest member of our Board of Directors, Tony Hopson.  Tony is a native of Portland, Oregon, resides in the Northeast community, and is a respected neighborhood and community leader.  He graduated from Portland’s Jefferson High School in 1972.  He went on to graduate from Willamette University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Sociology and a teaching certificate in 1977.  That same year he earned a counseling certificate from Portland State University.  In 1991 he received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Willamette University.  From 1977 to 1985, Hopson taught, counseled and coached for Portland Public Schools.

Hopson founded Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) in 1981 as a one-week summer camp committed to improving collegiate and employment opportunities for high school students.  The initial camp served 80 students.  In 1988, under the auspices of the Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA), and through a grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust, SEI became a year-around program.  During a capital campaign that began in 1989, SEI raised over $10 million to build the 62,000 sq. ft. Center for Self Enhancement which opened its doors in 1997.  The Center offers a variety of activities and services for youth and families in inner-Portland and is a hub of the community.  Self Enhancement employs 120 people, most of whom live in Northeast Portland.

Since then, SEI has expanded to serve more than 2,000 students and 5,000 families per year in various programs and has been recognized with awards such as the Oregon Award for Public Service and being named a “Point of Light” by President George H.W. Bush. The program has been recognized nationally as a model program for youth development.  In 2006, SEI was recognized by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation from New York as one of the premier youth development programs in the nation, and with their support, continued replicating the SEI program in Miami, Florida in partnership with former NBA player Alonzo Mourning. In 2012, the America’s Promise Alliance, a non-profit organization founded by General Colin Powell and his wife Alma, highlighted SEI as one of the nation’s most promising programs positively impacting student graduation rates. 

Hopson has also been recognized for his activism and community leadership by receiving the State of Oregon’s “Gold Schmidty Award,” the Urban League of Portland’s “Equal Opportunity Award,” the Albina Ministe­rial Alli­ance’s “Bridge Builder Award,” Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s “Emerald Award,” the Black United Fund’s “Legacy Award,” the “Aubrey R. Watzek Award” from Lewis & Clark College, the “Community Award” from the Portland Observer Newspaper, the “Living Legend Award” from Willamette University, the “First Citizen Award” from the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, the “Oregon Ethics in Business Award” from the Samaritan Counseling Center, and the “Distinguished Service Award” from the University of Oregon.

Hopson is a very active volunteer and leader in the Portland community.  He is a Trustee on the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Foundation Board, is Co-Chair of the Portland African American Leadership Forum, and sits on the Portland Trail Blazers Executive Advisory Board. 

Welcome aboard Tony!

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