We’re Green

OBM-100-best-Green-logo-2015-500pxwOregon Business magazine named The Next Door one of the 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon in 2015. Our greenness was determined by an anonymous employee survey and an independent assessment of our sustainability practices.

Maybe they noticed our new solar panels.

She’s All Ears

Julie_RyanOur March newsletter: We try to make it so short you can read it in 60 seconds. How’d we do?

Superhero Employee Honored

Ralph Kupersmith as a little cowboyWe usually don’t bring up the Employee of the Month on our website, but Ralph Kupersmith is a special case. At The Next Door, he has been a Case Manager, Foster Parent Trainer, Recruiter, and Certifier, Facilities Manager, Bus Driver, and several things we don’t have titles for. Ralph can be counted on to fill in wherever he’s needed, and he has a beautiful attitude toward the most difficult of children. He sees them as children.

Employee-funded Scholarships Given


Contact: Cheryl Lawson, 541-386-6665

Six students honored

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 Hood River, Oregon (June 7): Five years ago, employees of The Next Door started a scholarship fund for clients and participants in their programs. Employees donate directly from their paychecks to help clients and participants access higher education. This year, they were able to award scholarships of $400 each to six promising young people.

Cesar Juarez became familiar with The Next Door through Teen Court where he has been an active volunteer since late 2009. Cesar also volunteers at F.I.S.H. Food Bank and as a soccer coach with the Dynamos Youth Soccer Association. As a senior on the Hood River Valley High School soccer team, he was selected as team captain and made first-team All Conference. He plans to attend Clark College in the fall majoring in electrical engineering.

Nancy Lopez has been involved with The Next Door in a number of ways. She has been an active participant in Health Media Club, a project of Nuestra Cominidad Sana, for nearly two years. She is also involved with Inspiration Circle, a group of young women that focuses on developing a positive self image and supporting each other in and outside of school. She plans to attend Oregon State University in the fall majoring in nursing.

Thalia Marquez was first introduced to The Next Door in 2008 through Camp Safe, a summer program to help incoming freshmen become familiar with and comfortable in the high school environment. She has participated in Challenge Day and Inspiration Circle and has developed a deeper understanding of the value of family and community through these activities. Thalia plans to attend Western Oregon University with a goal of becoming a dental hygienist.

Elevia Ritchie is interested in fashion and humanitarian work. She has a leadership role in Inspiration Circle where she has been active for several years. She has participated in Challenge Day, an event that encourages students to shift away from peer pressure and bullying and move toward positive support for one another. She is a founding member of the Fashion Club at Hood River Valley High School. Her plans include attending Simpson University in Redding, California with a major in Cross Cultural Studies.

Two Klahre House students were also awarded scholarships. Tracy first joined the Klahre House Alternative School in March 2010. Since then, he has participated in numerous school wide community service projects and has organized some service learning projects. Most notably, Tracy headed a school wide project to clean up the Port of The Dalles. He writes for the school newspaper, served on the student council for several terms and is on track to graduate a year early.

Julian has kept an impressive school record and calls himself a “lifelong student.” He has participated in several school community service projects including cleaning up Indian Creek, picking up trash, distributing clothing, planting native plants, and recycling for the Lions Club. Julian is known as a positive leader around the Klahre House. He is on track to graduate a semester early. Both Tracy and Julian plan to attend community college and transfer to a four-year college.

Employees Fund and Award Scholarships

Four students honored

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Hood River, Oregon (May 18): Four years ago, employees of The Next Door, Inc. (NDI) started a scholarship fund for clients and participants in their programs. Employees donate directly from their paychecks to help clients and participants access higher education. This year, they were able to award scholarships of $250-$750 to four promising young people.

Kimberly Deras is actively involved in NDI’s Health Media Club at Hood River Valley High School, educating other young people about how and why to make healthy choices about using tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. She has helped research and design billboards, public service announcements and peer-to-peer presentations. Kim plans to attend Pacific Lutheran University in the fall to study nursing. She is a compassionate, bright and sincere young woman who cares about her community. With these qualities, we know she will excel as a nurse, nurse practitioner or whatever career she chooses in the field of caring for others.

Ruben “Joel” Manzo is a giving, caring, dependable young man who plans to become a school teacher. He has demonstrated leadership and dedication to helping his community be a safe, healthy place to live by volunteering about 20 hours per month through The Next Door’s Health Media Club and other school clubs at Hood River Valley High School. He is a great role model and older brother to two younger siblings and will be the first in his family to finish high school and attend college. 

Justin Phillips participates in our Independent Living Program in Condon, where he is wholeheartedly involved in school activities and sports. He has served as both student body president and National Honor Society president at Wheeler High School for his Junior and Senior years. Justin is a hard-working, ambitious young man who has overcome many hardships, yet he has used these challenges to grow, rather than dwelling on his misfortunes. He plans to attend Oregon State University and study chemistry to pursue a career in forensic science.

Miah McIntyre became involved with NDI through our Big Brothers Big Sisters program when she was in the 7th grade. She credits her Big Sister as one of the most amazing and influential people in her life. As a junior in high school, she spent a day with doctors and nurses at Doernbecher Childrens Hospital. As she watched how the nurses interacted with patients and how they did their daily jobs, she decided she wanted to work with children as a Pediatric Nurse. Miah is a dedicated young woman whose dream is to make a difference in this world.