Portland Man Presented with FBI Director's Community Leadership Award
The FBI has presented Bert Waugh, Jr. with its annual Director’s Community Leadership Award for his decades of service to some of the most vulnerable young people in Oregon. Mr. Waugh received the award Saturday, December 10, 2016, at musician Michael Allen Harrison’s Christmas Show. Mr. Harrison dedicates his first show each year to Transitional Youth.
Mr. Waugh’s work with homeless youth started in the 1970s when he saw a boy standing on a Portland street corner, looking lost. When he learned that the boy’s parents had just abandoned him, Mr. Waugh took the boy home with him. That one act started a lifetime journey of service.
Over the years, Mr. Waugh and his wife Susy continued to take street youth into their home. As time passed, they realized the problem was only getting worse, not better.
In 1991, Mr. Waugh founded Transitional Youth, a non-profit organization that provides housing, outreach, and support services to young people who would otherwise be living on the streets.
FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Larry Karl (left) and Mr. Bert Waugh, Jr. (right) on December 10, 2016
Over the years, Transitional Youth has continued to grow into a larger, sustainable service provider. The program now gives 11,000 meals to the homeless in downtown Portland each year. In 2005, it also established a transitional ranch, where approximately 500 homeless teens have been able to get job training while experiencing life as a “family” as they work to integrate back into the community. Transitional Youth has also opened a home in the Beaverton area and one in Vancouver, Washington. They will soon open the doors on a new facility specifically for girls.
“Mr. Waugh has a relentless passion for helping Oregon’s young people, particularly those who are among the most vulnerable,” said Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Where others would turn their back in fear or judgment, Mr. Waugh has shown a dedication and passion that is both remarkable and humbling. He is someone who has certainly made a significant difference in the lives of thousands, and he is most deserving of this award.”
Mr. Waugh is the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Northwest Real Estate. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Linfield College in 1966. He and his wife have three sons, one daughter, and nine grandchildren.
About the Award
Every year, each of the FBI’s 56 field divisions chooses one person or organization to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award. Each recipient must have shown a commitment to crime prevention or community service.
In the spring of 2017, Mr. Waugh will travel to Washington, D.C., to be honored by FBI Director James B. Comey in a national recognition ceremony.