“If I have seen further [than others], it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

-Sir Issac Newton

At Phoenix, we strive to help all individuals in our community to look ahead to the future. As we all do that in life, it may also be important at times to understand the past behind us and learn about the efforts of those who came before us.

We all can see more into the future if we have inspiration of how others reached for greatness, how others joined with peers to achieve greatness.

In 2018, our organization began the practice of collecting the stories of the ‘giants’ of the greater Douglas community and sharing their impact towards ‘solutions’ for the youth of our community. This year, Phoenix wishes to acknowledge the past efforts which culminated in the opening of our campus in east Roseburg 20 years ago.  These individuals were champions to bring the community together to achieve together.

We hope learning about these remarkable folks can help others stand taller and see further when they set their goals for our community.


Jerry Bruce – Community Partner

When Mr. Kenneth Ford asked Mr. Bruce to lead The Ford Family Foundation’s $2,000,000 matching grant to build our school, a matching grant for a large capital project was a first for the Foundation.  Jerry worked closely with Ron Breyne, then our Executive Director and School Principal, putting in many hours to see the project through from groundbreaking to opening our new doors and new opportunities to youth not in school nor employed.

Ronnie Bruce – Community Partner

Ronnie has been there for Phoenix practically from the start, contributing throughout the decades to Phoenix as a Board Member, on the Fundraising Committee, as an advisor on children’s issues, and as a generous donor.  While these contributions are more than substantial and their effect on Phoenix and the lives of children is extraordinary, it may be Ronnie’s leading by example that is most impactful of all.  Her sense of community, spirit, and personal values imbued Phoenix’ and that is a very good thing as our graduates shape their own lives.

Rick Sohn – Community Partner

In addition to his decades as a Phoenix supporter and donor for Phoenix’ “Youth Solutions” programs, Rick has provided the networking and technical advice necessary to help develop Phoenix Career-Technical Education and work experience opportunities in the field of natural resources management.  Rick has kept Phoenix connected to our natural resource community, still the economic lifeblood of Douglas County.  Rick’s connection, advice, and support has helped Phoenix to build programs that help prepare and engage 80+ Youth annually in on-the-job training and employment opportunities in projects that improve forest health, reduce wildfire risk, ready trails & campgrounds for recreation, and restore habitat for fish and other species.  Not only does the work improve Douglas County’s livability and viability, it prepares local Youth for careers helping take care of their own “backyard”.

Jacky Sohn – Board Member

Jacky served Phoenix Youth as a long-time Board Member and Board President and was the principal Leader two of the most impactful developments in Phoenix’ history.  Jacky led and organized the processes to build Phoenix’ 30,000 square foot school facility on our eleven-acre campus and to secure the four million dollars in grants and donations that built it.  It was the first school designed and constructed for at-risk children in the United States.  In her role as an Umpqua Community College Vice President, Jacky helped lay the groundwork for Phoenix’ accelerated learning and career-technical education collaboration with UCC, opening post-secondary education and training opportunities for Phoenix Students.