Charles Jordan was Portland's first African-American city commissioner and one of the architects of the city's nationally renowned parks system, and perhaps the leading advocate of his time in the parks and recreation field. His commitment to youth and education was always a priority during his career in public service. After his passing in 2014, a conversation was prompted by the family of Charles Jordan with Black United Fund of Oregon to redefine the Charles Jordan Legacy Fund to better capture the goals of Charles Jordan and his desire to help students access equitable education at the high school level to better prepare them for higher education and the Charles Jordan Legacy Community Service Scholarship was created. 

Scholarship Qualifications

  • Student MUST identify as Black, African-American, or African descent.

  • Student MUST be a(n) incoming high school Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior attending a private school within the Portland Metro area.

  • Student MUST have a solid belief in the importance of and history of service in their community, with a minimum of 20 hours of community service preformed each calendar year.

  • Student MUST be in good academic standing, meaning not on academic probation or in an academic remediation program as defined by the private high school he/she is attending.


  • Student must provide one letter of recommendation, either a(n):

    • Professional Letter of Recommendation from a community or nonprofit leader.

    • Academic Letter of Recommendation from a teacher, counselor, principal, coach, or school official.

NOTE: Letters of Recommendation from immediate family members will not be accepted. 

  • Unofficial transcript showing cumulative GPA and good academic standing (incoming Freshman should include 8th grade transcripts).

  • Completion of an 1,000 (or more) word essay addressing the prompt.

Students are required to create an online account to complete the application. All application materials must be included in the online application to be considered. 

If you have questions or run into problems while completing your application please contact BUF directly via email at or via phone at 503.282.7973.