Welcome to Portage Community

Portage Community bridges the gap between education and nursing locally and education and the medical field internationally. We believe the best work is done through collaboration with on-the-ground experts by creating opportunities for individuals wanting to help others through careers in the medical field.

By getting to the root of issues and not just treating a symptom, we bring hope to those who want to change their life trajectory through pursuing an education.

Collaboration with Experts | Care for All Students | Hope for the Future

The Problem

People seeking to enter local community college nursing programs and medical programs internationally face a variety of barriers to educational success.

These barriers are not just financial in nature, though that is one issue. Many students lack a support system to answer questions about the medical field, their classwork, or provide encouragement. They lack the tools they need to succeed. This results in men and women losing the opportunity to impact their communities through a medical degree.

Furthermore, many potential students are using a degree in nursing and medicine to propel themselves and their families out of poverty. If they lack the tools to succeed in the program, it prevents them from achieving their full potential and pushes them right back into poverty.

Our Solution

We bridge the gap to education by eliminating both financial barriers and barriers to career success. We do this through mentorship, professional development, test preparation, and financial scholarships.


Students in Portage Community programs, regardless of financial need, are matched with both a medical mentor and a life mentor who provide professional support and guidance, resources, encouragement, and wisdom during the academic year. Mentors regularly meet with and contact mentees to help them overcome any issues to educational success.


Furthermore, all students attend multiple professional development sessions and test prep sessions so they have the tools to succeed in all aspects of their education and future career.

Hartman Initiative Event

New Cohort Incoming

As we look ahead to this academic year, our local program team has begun the process of receiving applications for our 2021-2022 program participants. For our pilot program, we hope to accept 10 students for the fall portion of this year's cohort. Then, we will take a larger group for the spring semester. We have also started recruiting medical mentors and life mentors to pair with each of these program participants. Our program kickoff is slated for the end of August!

Hartman Initiative Program Participants 2020

Read Our Latest Post

"Construction began on the clinic in December of 2020, providing jobs for many unemployed Dominicans. Today, the first and second floors have been completed. Once completed, the first floor will serve as a fully-functioning clinic. The second floor will contain two apartments for the full-time doctors on staff. In addition, the clinic will also house a lab that will test for cervical cancer among other things."

Continued construction on the Hartman Initiative clinic

International Updates

Our International Program Director, Pamela McFarland, visited the Dominican Republic to connect with our three students. She hand-delivered their introduction packets and answered their questions. She also looked over an apartment in Santo Domingo Daniela found for all three students to stay through the duration of their time in medical school. Daniela, Ana, and Joel start classes in September!

Pamela McFarland and Hartman Initiative Scholarship participant Ana

DR Clinic Updates

Construction on our medical clinic in the Dominican Republic continues! Despite the global shutdown due to Covid-19, our team and partners at Hope for Hispaniola managed to complete the exterior of the building. Work will continue on the interior as workers section off rooms. Construction is slated to conclude on January 31, 2022.

Hartman Initiative Medical Clinic in the Dominican Republic
Portage Community

See Our Impact

"I found an entire support system that I didn't know I needed and I can't imagine getting through nursing school without it. My mentor was so kind and you could truly tell that she genuinely cared about me as well as my success in the program. Thank you just doesn't seem sufficient enough, but thank you so much!!"

"Not only has this scholarship helped financially, it also gave me a support system & networking resources along the way. My mentor was great! She was there for me in times of struggle- always knowing the right words to say. Not only do I look up to her as a mentor, but a life-long friend!"
"I am so thankful for all the encouragement and resources provided by [Portage Community] on top of the financial scholarship. All of the workshops were so helpful and full of useable content, but on top of that the events were so full of friendship, kindness, positivity, and encouragement. It was so helpful in keeping focused on the goal of graduation and beyond."

The Latest Updates from the Portage Community

Neuroscience & Volunteering by Daniela Del Rosario

By Portage Community | September 6, 2023

We’re excited to share an article by Daniela Del Rosario, one of Portage Community’s international students. Read it below!

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Meet Liz, Operations Director for Portage Community

By Portage Community | January 31, 2023

If you have interacted with Portage Community this past year, you would have met our staff member who does it all: Liz Ours. Portage Community wants to express gratitude for our Operations Director as she Read more…

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Meet Mabel, Clinic Director in the Dominican Republic

By Portage Community | November 17, 2022

Mabel Dasneyri Núñez is the new Dominican Republic clinic director for the Portage Community. She brings years of experience to her role and a commitment to healthcare for those in her community. The Portage Community Read more…

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NCLEX Prep: A Look Inside the Local Program

By Portage Community | October 20, 2022

What is the NCLEX? The most extensive test nursing students take is the NCLEX. It’s the required exam for nurses to earn licensure and practice nursing. This test is vital to their careers, as The Read more…

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Pediatric Nurses Week: Celebrating Natalie Cekovich

By Portage Community | October 4, 2022

Natalie Cekovich CRNP-BC, RN, DNP. Natalie is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Department of Newborn Services. She is currently one of Portage Community‘s local program mentors, host of our NCLEX Read more…

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5 Food Facts about the Dominican Republic

By Portage Community | September 28, 2022

When thinking about the Dominican Republic, what comes to mind? Our international program director, Pamela, gives a glimpse into some of the things that represent Dominicans. (Pamela McFarland) Pamela shares that the Dominican is the Read more…

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Benefits of Being a Mentor

By Portage Community | September 12, 2022

There are many benefits to receiving mentoring as a student, but what you may not think about are the benefits of mentoring when you are the mentor. Whether you are interested in becoming a life Read more…

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Bridging the Gap – An Affordable Technology Program for Students

By Portage Community | August 22, 2022

Portage Community has partnered with Bridging the Gap to provide low-cost access to the internet and computers for students needing technology for their education.  Students who are associated with Portage Community or Portage Learning have Read more…

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Medical Clinic Update – August 2022

By Portage Community | August 12, 2022

An extension of Portage Community’s International Program is the Partner of Hope Medical Clinic. We desire to eliminate barriers for Dominican students pursuing a degree in medicine. Across the Dominican Republic, many people don’t have Read more…

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Happiness and Joy!

By Portage Community | March 10, 2022

Recently, Portage Community reviewed and chose our 2022 scholarship recipient to attend medical school in the Dominican Republic. We would love to introduce you to Miguelina and share her letter of acceptance and thanks. We Read more…

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Impact Your Community

What Your Donations Do

  • Empower the next generation of nursing and medical professionals
  • Enable Portage Community to reach more students with program offerings
  • Eliminate barriers to education for local nursing students and international medical students
  • Effectuate generational change in your community and communities abroad

The Effect of Volunteers

  • More students receive wisdom and guidance in navigating their education
  • Open channels of communication and learning across all aspects of the medical field
  • Create a community culture that lifts each other up to achieve their highest potential
  • Pour into today's students to create a better tomorrow
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Contact Us Today

2521 Darlington Road
Beaver Falls, PA 15010

(855) 896-8294