November 21st, 2008 5:33 pm | by Mariah Summers News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

The Fantastic Four: Skidmore Winners Receive Their Prizes And Give Their Advice





Among the 55 non-profits featured in WW's Give Guide are four whose young leaders were honored today at City Club with the Skidmore Prize.

For the past five years, WW has honored local residents who are under 36 years old and making an impact on the Portland non-profit scene. At today's Skidmore ceremony, honorees Katy Kolker, Amy Harwood, Rodolfo Serna and Polly Bangs each got a plaque and a check for $4,000 from WW publisher Richard Meeker and Multnomah County Commissioner Ted Wheeler.

The winners then fielded questions from both the audience and keynote speaker Mark Holloway, executive director of Social Venture Partners Portland.

When asked by Holloway what's the most rewarding part of his work, Serna — who works with homeless youth through the P:ear organization — said, “This work has helped me in finding my identity.”

“And I work at helping people find their identities," Serna said. "I always tell the kids, 'if you know what you are, then no one can tell you what you are.' Finding their identity is really important.”

Holloway then asked Kolker of the Portland Fruit Tree project what's the real genius behind her organization.

“Connecting people to a resource that's going to waste,” Kolker responded, adding that her organization brings the community together by illuminating the possibilities of a seemingly unwanted part of nature.

And when one audience member asked the group what book they would recommend to City Club members, Harwood, of the environmental group Bark, offered a quick and affirmative answer.

“Moby Dick! It's about struggling to achieve goals,” she said, drawing laughs from the crowd. “Actually, I'd say read it twice.”
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