First Door PDX is a non-profit that began in 2013 when three college graduates started volunteering to help kids in their apartment complex with homework after school in North Portland. They worked with the students from Parkside Commons on N. Columbia on math, science and reading from their garage, then later an apartment. The kids named it “Homework Club.”
Marissa Ranno was nominated for the KXL Everyday Hero by Jesus Morales, who is a boxer and self described “fitness junkie” who used to live in the Parkside Common. He now volunteers there, teaching kids to box and stay physically fit.
The program has grown and includes food distribution, and the students also learn gardening, art, and other skills. Marissa says it’s an honor to work with the kids.