New Avenues For Youth

New Avenues is a nonprofit that believes every young person should have food, shelter, and access to education and job training, and that as a community, we must go beyond meeting those basic needs by offering programs that heal young lives and nurture growth and independence. Their mission is to work in partnership with the community to prevent youth homelessness and provide at-risk young people with the resources and skills needed to lead healthy, productive lives. 

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Portland Homeless Family Solutions

Portland Homeless Family Solutions (PHFS) is a nonprofit that helps families with children get back into permanent housing. The ultimate goal is to alleviate long-term family homelessness in the community. They also seek to provide services to the children of homeless families to keep them engaged and learning. Poeteen has partnered with them to provide free poetry workshops to their homeless youth. It is so rewarding to nurture this partnership and collaborate with the vision of creating a successful and expressive community!

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Kids First Project is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization whose mission is to promote HOPE (Health, Opportunity, Play, Education) by "raising awareness on the lack of funding going towards disadvantaged children, providing the resources necessary for children experiencing homelessness to reach their full potential, freeing up time for parents to get training on job skills and ultimately breaking the generational cycle of poverty". Poeteen volunteers will teach free poetry workshops to these children at designated dates. We are overjoyed to be partnering with them and putting kids first!

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Camions of Care

Camions of Care supports menstrual hygiene management through the global distribution of feminine hygiene product care packages to women in need, and through the development of youth leadership with a nationwide network of campus chapters. Poeteen volunteers are collaborating in order to combine poetry with women empowerment and help homeless and disadvantaged women. 

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Interested in becoming a volunteer? No prerequisites necessary; just an open heart and an open mind! Apply here:


Founder & Executive Director: Sophia Mautz

Sophia recently graduated from Lincoln High School in Portland, OR. She founded Poeteen in the spring of her junior year because she was passionate about spreading poetry to her peers and using it as a medium to help others heal through creative expression. Currently, Sophia is taking a gap year and planning to develop Poeteen further and expand it. After her gap year, she will attend Harvard College, where she plans to develop a Boston branch of Poeteen and eventually take it nationwide. Please see recent article in Oregonian for more information about Sophia and her poetry:

Managing Director of Portland Branch: Jamie Bikales


Jamie Bikales is a senior at Lincoln. He was introduced to poetry while competing for his school's Speech and Debate team, and went on to compete at Verselandia, Portland's citywide poetry slam in 2015. He likes poetry because it's a way for world issues to discussed in a deeper and more genuine way than pages of statistics or written reports. It's also an outlet for the emotion that builds up within, which is why he was drawn to Poeteen's mission to harness poetry's power to heal.

Managing Director of Portland Branch (2016-17): Sheila Panyam

Poeteen is excited to welcome Sheila on board to the team. Sheila is a rising senior at Lincoln High School this year. She is an ambassador to the Children’s Book Bank, a co-director of the We the Future PDX program, a core leader at TedxYouth@Portland and the Director of Education and a bilingual teacher at Mission: Citizen. She was a finalist in both the 2015 Poetry out Loud and Verselandia competitions, and loves to spend her free time writing historical fiction and poetry.  Her mission is to continue spreading the joy of reading to less-fortunate youth in her community by helping physically place books in the right hands, but also emphasizing the significance of sharing stories in our world through both literature and poetry.   

And a HUGE thank you to Michelle K. Mark for her help with Poeteen's website! You can check out her company MKM Design at