Serendipity Center would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all of the individuals, businesses, and friends who helped spread joy and cheer to all of our students and families this holiday season. Thank you to our invaluable community partners who supported our students and families by providing food assistance over the holiday break and classroom gifts of games and skill building activities. This long list includes the employees of Brown & Brown NW, the patrons of Glendoveer Golf Course, Central East Portland Rotary, St. Joseph the Worker’s Peace and Justice Committee, and the many, many, individuals and groups of people who adopted Serendipity classrooms this year.

Serendipity’s mission to provide students with the best environment to heal and become educated, productive community members is made possible by our committed community partners. Thank you for your confidence and continued support. We couldn’t do this without you.

From Serendipity Center’s staff, students and board of directors, we wish you a very happy holiday season and a happy new year!

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, it’s time to focus on making a difference in the lives of the children who need your support. This year Serendipity Center is excited to participating in #GivingTuesday a celebration of non-profits we love. This year, your #GivingTuesday gift to Serendipity Center will ensure that the children of Serendipity continue to receive the critical care necessary to fulfill their potential. But we can’t do it without your help.

Here are some things you can do to support Serendipity Center:
1.) Make a donation online today
2.) Link Serendipity Center to your Fred Meyer rewards card
3.) Name Serendipity Center your non-profit on Amazon Smile

Thank you for your continued support and belief in Serendipity’s mission to provide students with the best environment to heal and become educated, productive community members.


This afternoon Serendipity Center hosted it’s annual harvest festival and Halloween dance! The day was filled with fun activities. Students were able to make fresh apple cider by hand in the Growing Minds Garden with Nicolas and upper school volunteers using an apple press. More than 1/3 of the apples used for the cider were grown in our garden! Lower school teacher’s Teri and Sheila painted faces in the greenhouse, check out their awesome spooky designs. And of course, students and staff cut a rug to classics like “Monster Mash” for our upper and lower school dances.

Thank you to our student council members and Case Managers Sara and Josh for setting up the awesome decorations for the dance and organizing this awesome tradition.

Students from Serendipity Center’s Farm to Table Cooking Club meet each Thursday and Friday to harvest veggies from the Growing Minds Garden and practice their cooking skills in the JFR Life Skills room. On Friday the Farm to Table Club prepared sauteed eggplant with miso sauce, sauteed shishito peppers, and sticky rice. Serendipity case-manager Chifumi Brown was a special guest chef at this week providing the club with her delicious homemade miso! Students and staff alike were blown away by this simple, yet delicious meal.

Serendipity is grateful for the support from all of our Growing Minds Garden stakeholders, including our Pearls of Hope and our corporate sponsors. We would also like to thank the Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral for their generous grant in support of our farm to table program.

Serendipity Center is excited and proud to announce that we are the recipients of the Oregon School Wellness Award for 2016! As one of only 3 schools in the state of Oregon to receive this amazing accolade it is a testament to the strength and vision of our food services program led by Joey Ogo and Brian Thompsen, as well as the leadership of Nicolas Townsend and the growth of the Growing Minds Garden. Serendipity would like to thank the representatives of Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, and the Nutrition Council of Oregon for visiting our campus and presenting the award in June – Specifically: Amy Gilroy, Heidi Dupuis, Joyce Dougherty, Suzanne Hidde, Kristin Hall, and Crista Hawkins. We would also like to thank our ex officio and current board members, staff, students, and families for joining us in our special celebration.

The presentation of the ODE School Wellness award coincided with another monumental achievement for our Growing Minds Garden program, the ribbon cutting and unveiling of our new greenhouse. The construction of our greenhouse was made possible by a generous grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Pudget Sound. Thanks to their contribution we will be able to provide our students with valuable instructional time during the more challenging winter months, and also provide our garden with more capacity to grow delicious fruits and veggies!


Serendipity Center is terribly saddened by the passing of ex-officio board member and former board chair Stephen B. Carter. The longtime vice president of special projects at The Standard served on our board from 2003-2012. Steve was an enduring and stabilizing force for many years and truly connected with the mission of Serendipity Center. During his tenure he was integral in completing our first capital campaign, Building for Success, which ultimately led to the construction of our new upper school and administrative buildings; completed in 2011.

Steve was known to all as an incredibly generous, kind, and caring man who had a natural love of mentorship and service. As stated in his obituary published in The Oregonian, “Steve excelled in business and volunteerism; he was an absolute champion when it came to friendships and having fun. An engaging conversationalist with a good sense of humor, he brightened the lives of all who knew him.”

Today, Stephen Carter’s legacy of service and generosity lives on. Following his passing Steve’s family has announced the Stephen Carter Scholarship Fund of Serendipity Center. This fund will be dedicated to funding scholarships for Serendipity graduates seeking independence. We are honored and grateful for all of Steve’s contributions to Serendipity Center during his many years and the contributions he continues to make. When Steve joined Serendipity’s board of directors in 2003 he wrote on his application that he was “energized by the mission and staff of Serendipity.” Now for many years to come Serendipity’s graduating classes will feel “energized” about their futures thanks to Stephen Carter.


On the evening of Wednesday, June 22nd, families, teachers, friends and staff joined together to celebrate the graduation of Serendipity’s class of 2016. This year’s class included ten seniors, one of Serendipity’s largest classes ever. The monumental occasion is the first step toward independence for many of our students and we were pleased to award seven seniors with scholarships toward achieving their independence goals. The event featured presentations from Executive Director, Belinda Marier, Principal, Megan Wilson, and Treatment Director, Jackie Trussell – as well as an address from Serendipity Board of Directors member, Tim Ullom.

Thank you to all of the families and friends in attendance there to support and celebrate with our grads, TTIP teacher Brenda and the graduation committee for organizing the ceremony, and everyone who made the evening so special for our graduates. Good luck class of 2016! We know you will do great things.

Today Serendipity students and staff explored the sights and sounds of Oregon Zoo! For the second year in a row both upper school and lower school students were invited to get up close and personal with all of the exotic animals and spent the afternoon learning about geography, climates, habitats and lots more. Serendipity would like to thank lower school teacher Tyler for his dedication and hard work to once again spearhead organizing this field trip. We would also like to thank the Oregon Zoo for making our visit enjoyable and informational for all of our students, we hope to be back next year!

Serendipity will be sending out a quarterly newsletter with news and updates highlighting different areas of our program and upcoming events. Click the banner below to stay up to date with us! We will also periodically be sending “Serendipity Minute” videos to share with you. Thanks for signing up.


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On Thursday, April 28th Serendipity Center held it’s annual benefit event Pearls of Hope. With our deepest and most sincere gratitude, Serendipity Center would like to thank all of those who attended Pearls of Hope this year. The generous support of our community partners is the foundation of Serendipity Center’s success. This year Pearls of Hope raised over $137,000! Thank you to our 2016 special appeal sponsor The Standard, as well as all of our empowerment, cornerstone, auction item donors and other sponsors. Special thanks to Tony Martinez, our long-time event master of ceremonies and this year’s special appeal host. Pearls of Hope is made possible by your support and belief in the Serendipity mission.