A Look Back at the ROSES Project
The ROSES Project is no longer running, however, this website features a look back at the project for those who are interested in learning more about what the ROSES project accomplished.
To empower young people to thrive spiritually and materially, enabling them to serve the well-being of their communities.
The ROSES Project served children (ages 7-14) of Hmong heritage. The students attended schools in north Portland.
A diverse group of mentors trained in appreciation of the Hmong culture, the development of virtues and academic achievement. Mentors, families and the wider community enjoyed quarterly gatherings to share the Hmong culture. Once a year mentors visited families in their homes.
After reading aloud and completing homework, students and their mentors met as a group to study and consult about a virtue.For oral presentations, students told how they practiced the virtue during the preceding week. Students also memorized quotes of recognized leaders of thought.
“The Virtues Guide is no sanctimonious tome. Its aim is to help pass on some basic values for living together, shared by cultures and faiths around the globe.” Seattle Times, 7/12/2001
“I have seen so many programs come and go. They're all bandaids. The Virtues Project is penicillin. It's the cure.” Lucinda Fess, Mayor of the City of Piqua, Ohio
“If you used the virtues every single time forever, there wouldn't be any fights or wars. We would all be caring for one another.” Sunday School student, Washington State
Mentors encouraged development of virtues through example and positive feedback to students during the Wednesday sessions.
Students would bring homework assignments and books to the Wednesday sessions. Each mentor assisted one student in completing his/her homework and in reading aloud for 30 minutes or more. Students were reinforced in using the standard script. They were guided in using dictionaries and other reference tools. Consultation was especially emphasized in problem solving. The ROSES Project collaborated with Portland Public Schools and shared students' progress with parents and school principals.
The Association for Human Advancement and Development (AHAD) provided funding for the project through grants from various sources such as the Meyer Memorial Trust, the Albina Rotary Club, North Portland Neighborhood Services, the Juan Young Trust, the City of Portland, the Goodman Family Foundation, and individual donations.
An entrepreneurial project involving embroidary also helped fund the ROSES project. It involved students and their families in basketry and embroidery (Hmong arts). The proceeds from sales of these items helped serve the larger fundraising efforts to sustain the ROSES Project.
Tributes to ROSES
ROSES, as a successful project, met with tributes from the broader community and from the students:
“The ROSES Project staff and volunteers endeavor to work with each school in alignment with District and School Improvement Plans, enabling the program to be used collaboratively with key academic strategies. It is with pleasure that I commend this program to you.”
Jan Wierima, District Partnership Coordinator for the Portland Public School System
“Oregon Mentors, a statewide initiative supporting the Elements of Effective Practice in mentoring programs, is pleased to select ROSES as one of two Premiere mentoring programs [from throughout Oregon]. 165 programs are registered with Oregon Mentors and meet basic requirements of Effective Practice. Our two Premiere programs exceed minimum requirements fulfilling their commitment to youth in our community in exceptional ways. ROSES provides outreach to underserved populations and helps promote cultural pride.”
Mike Fewel, Oregon Mentors, www.ormentors.org
“The ROSES Project opens the gateway to infusing our community with young people who have a solid sense of identity and values, and who are prepared educationally to carry us into the future.”
Victoria Morgan of Oregon Public Broadcasting
“I think everybody here makes me confident in my ability. I know a lot more virtues. I really thank you.”
a student in the ROSES program
“It is a very useful program where you share ideas, opinions, and thoughts to teach the children about their customs, culture, and how to improve their reading comprehension and virtuousness.”
Pao Thao and Youa Moua, parents
Awards and Recognitions
- Meyer Memorial Trust ($50K grant)
- City of Portland ($11.5K grant awarded in recognition of Project merits)
- Oregon Mentors (special 2004 recognition award for outstanding Oregon mentoring project includes $2.5K grant)
- Juan Young Trust ($2K grant awarded to facilitate ROSES Project)
- Goodman Grant and Challenge Grant ($4.5K total)
- North Portland Press published an early newspaper article calling attention to the unique qualities of the ROSES Project
- The Oregonian published an article describing the ROSES Project and its benefits to the local Hmong community
- Oregon Public Broadcasting broadcast a news program about the cultural maintenance work of the ROSES Project
Find out more about the Bahá’í Faith, which has inspired the ROSES project.