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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Our Team

Parks for New Portlanders (2017-2018) brings together ten Community Youth Ambassadors(CYA) who are local leaders, community experts, and speak 15 different languages besides English.  

Community Youth Ambassadors advocate, organize, and engage youth and families who are new to the Portland community and assist Portland Parks & Recreation in identifying barriers and challenges related to parks services for new Portlanders. CYA collaborate with partner organizations to improve programs and services within the city and beyond while also learning valuable skills which they can practice throughout their lives.

Som Nath Subedi

Som Nath Subedi, Engagement Coordinator
About a quarter-century ago, Som Nath Subedi was one of around a 100,000 victims of The Kingdom of Bhutan’s “One Nation, One People” policy, which expelled his family from their homeland. They lived almost two decades in a Nepal refugee camp, a life without hope and without a meaningful future. Som never got enough food or clean clothes, books to read or bikes to ride. Despite international urging, his ethnic minority community was not repatriated to Bhutan, or returned their normal life. 

Som did his best to catch up with his American-born peers. He slept less, investing those hours instead into earlier integration. He showed his worth and asked for space, tried new things, learned about Portland’s vigorous mainstream and the city’s energetic ethnic minority communities other cultures, and built partnerships that added to the diversity of our great state.Since shortly after his US arrival, Som has worked as a refugee case manager. He resettled new refugee families from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe into neighborhoods, schools, and social service networks for their self-sufficiency and integration into Portland’s communities.In 2010, Som founded then facilitated a strategy and practice of utilizing soccer as a hook to bring foreign-born families and the City of Portland together, through an annual Portland World Cup Soccer program and other culturally-specific recreational, educational, and occupational, opportunities. Last year alone, the program engaged kids from 30 ethnic communities from 30 countries, who’s families speak 30 languages. Som’s local and national efforts on behalf of his Bhutanese communities, have provided replicable models of successful integration. For example, Som developed partnerships with local government to deliver annual cultural and civic integration workshop series for Portland’s newcomer families. Another example: Som developed a local Bhutanese election commission drawn from 17 international models, in order to establish a voting process for Bhutanese mutual assistance association leadership. As result over 500 Bhutanese Oregonians (roughly 92% of their eligible electorate) practiced local democracy. It was a first for Bhutanese ever, anywhere. This immigrant integration model is in national circulation among resettlement agencies, as an effort to empower newcomer communities struggling with the wounds of war and civil strife.Finally and in many ways most importantly, Som constantly presents a positive narrative of committed New Americans in print and broadcast media.

Yanet Asghedome
Country of Origin: Eritrea
School: Grant High School
Language: Tigrena
Future Career: Social Worker


Ludmila Bodina
Country of Origin: Ukraine/Russia
School: David Douglas
Languages: Russian, English
Future Career: Nurse, Interpreter

Kemle Fakhry
Country of Origin: Senegal
School: Benson Polytechnic High School
Languages: Soninke, Wolof, French
Future Career: Political Science

Brian Flores Garcia
Country of Origin: Mexico
College: Portland State University
Language: Spanish
Future Career: Community Development with a focus on politics

Anisha Ghising
Country of Origin: My parents are from Bhutan and I was born in Nepal
School: Parkrose High School
Languages: Nepali and Hindi
Future Career: Nurse

Rand Ibraheem
Country of Origin: Iraq
School: Wilson High School
Language: Arabic
Future Career: Nurse

Fowzia Ibrahim
Country of Origin: Kenya
School: Madison High School
Languages: Somali and My My
Future Career: Legislator or Lawyer

Khanh Le
Country of Origin: Vietnam
School: David Douglas High
Language: Vietnamese
Future Career: Accountant

Naw Bi Tha
Country of Origin: Myanmar/Burma
School: Reynolds High School
Language: Karen
Future Career: Business Management

Fatima Zainel
Country of Origin: Iraq
Languages: Arabic and Turkish
Future Career: Doctor