Bend Headquarters

Who We Are

Mission & History

Our mission is simple. Heart of Oregon Corps empowers youth and young adults through employment, job training, education, and service to Central Oregon communities. 

Our vision is clear. Heart of Oregon Corps is a leader in empowering youth and young adults to transform their lives and their communities. Through this work, we will create a future with equitable opportunities in Central Oregon. 

We have been a vital part of the Central Oregon community for over 20 years. We were founded by three change-makers who sought to serve a growing number of youth experiencing significant barriers to success. We have continued to grow with the help of our funders, donors, and community volunteers that make our mission possible. Through all these years our purpose still remains the same: bring services to the young people who need them.

Founders Dennis, Dave, and Dan held a strong belief that young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds deserved a chance to earn their way to success. Dave worked with Deschutes County Juvenile Justice and saw countless youth offenders struggle with their circumstances. For a variety of reasons, many were lacking viable options and the support and encouragement to pursue them. Our founders set out to create such an option, thinking, "why not show young people they can be a force for good in their community instead of a destructive one?" Through a restorative justice approach, they established a community service-based program that evolved to include job skills training and continuing education.