Voting Opens in the 2013 Maps Community Challenge

SALEM, OR (October 22, 2013) — The Maps Community Foundation invites the community to vote for the winner in the 2013 Maps Community Challenge. Voting will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, October 27.

The three finalists submitted ideas to address the needs of youth transitioning out of foster care. Votes are accepted as likes on the finalists’ videos posted on the Maps Credit Union Facebook page, The winner will be announced at Maps’ annual meeting October 29, 2013.

Our first finalist is Royce Markley, who proposes creating a system of peer mentors to provide advice and support that foster teens will actually listen to. Royce is a foster child himself, and he has been working with Oregon Foster Youth Connection to advocate for foster youth. He was part of the group who helped draft and lobby for the Oregon Foster Youth Bill of Rights, passed earlier this year.

Finalist number 2 is Lara Barnes. Her idea is a career training program that helps foster youth learn job and soft skills they often have not been exposed to. Lara works with Options Counseling and Family Services, and she and the staff at Options believe this program will help foster youth ensure that they can find and retain steady employment and avoid homelessness, a common path for former foster youth.

The third finalist is Rachel Freeburg. Rachel proposed a nonprofit created to serve current and former foster youth and led completely by former foster youth. Based on a successful nonprofit in Portland, this idea ties peer mentoring with a path for success for foster youth.

The Maps Community Foundation was organized in 2011 to deliver asset-building services to local communities. The 501(c)3 organization lives its mission, “Building financial security through education,” by partnering with community groups to increase access to affordable education, to provide financial education, and to support asset development in the areas we serve.

Maps Credit Union has come a long way since a group of 17 volunteers joined together in 1935, running the credit union out of kitchens and living rooms in homes throughout Marion County. Today, Maps serves more than 45,000 members in Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties. The credit union has nine branches located in east, west, south and central Salem; Keizer; the Willamette University campus; Monmouth; Woodburn; and Silverton. The credit union also instructs students and operates three non-profit student branches as school-to-work labs for high school business courses at North Salem, West Salem and McKay high schools.

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