Fighting for Relevancy

McCoy Academy steps up in historic King district

7/17/2013, 10:20 a.m.
The 25-year-old resource center fights to maintain its longstanding community support in Portland's minority communities.
McCoy Academy’s Bobby Fouther (second from left) and Carmen Hawkins (second from right), join volunteers at the non-profit’s new Saturday Market venture. McCoy, located at 3802 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., has served Portland as an alternative school and community resource center for 25 years. Photo by

The fundraising efforts at McCoy also include a goal for the outright purchase of their building, not only to ease their annual operation costs of $55,000 but also to secure a permanent position in the neighborhood.

Carmen Hawkins, another YMA coordinator, is in agreement with other McCoy tenants that remaining in northeast Portland and not being forced into the outskirts of the city or Gresham, like a host of other minority-focused non-profits, remains essential for many of their core clientele which is largely composed of African and Latin Americans.

Hawkins said many of McCoy’s clients, especially the younger ones, rely on the organization’s centralized resources.

Taylor, a 16-year-old high school student and graduate of YMA, says McCoy’s programs have been essential to his growth and have helped him “think differently from others, in a good way.” He wants to see McCoy continue in their current location.

Though a move is not to bound happen in the immediate future, participants in McCoy programs realize that growing support is the only viable way to continue their services into the next few years in the King neighborhood.

Donations to McCoy can be made by calling the academy at 503-281-9597. Support can also be made by purchasing items at McCoy Saturday Market which is open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday.