Vicki Wilson, art faculty, is helping to revitalize her southeast Portland neighborhood through the Foster Window Project: a community-based art project utilizing vacant storefront windows.
English alum Michelle Walsh and her twin Michael Heisler share wisdom gained through life's school of hard knocks through Elder Wisdom Circle, a site that connects teens and young adults with "cyber-grandparents" for advice.
Excerpt from an article by Kelly House in The Oregonian,
February 26, 2013.
In 70 years of living, Michael Heisler says he's made "every mistake in the book."
Heisler has dropped out of school, lost jobs, gone through multiple marriages and divorces and generally messed up on countless occasions. He is a wealth of firsthand knowledge on how to climb back up when you've fallen into one of life's pitfalls.
"I'm not particularly smart, but I've made a lot of mistakes," he says. "As you watch people doing the same things, you see what happens."
Heisler also has decades of practical experience as a commercial pilot and TriMet bus driver, making him something of an expert at fixing mechanical errors and navigating social interactions.
He and his twin sister, Michelle Walsh, know the wisdom of age is invaluable. The pair, both of Portland, are members of a nationwide network dedicated to sharing elders' sage advice with those who seek answers.
Through the nonprofit Elder Wisdom Circle, the twins receive daily letters from advice-seekers as far away as India, answering queries about everything from how to fix a broken toilet to whether to leave an abusive partner.
Simply put, the pair do what grandparents do best. They listen, and offer wise insight to calm the angst of younger, more erratic hearts and minds.