First Lady Portsha Franklin-Gordon (affectionately called Lady P.), originally from Mississippi, completed her Bachelor's Degree in Accounting at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Florida. She received her Master's degrees at Belhaven University in Public Administration and at Boston University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a focus in Higher Education Administration.
At Bethune-Cookman University, Lady P. was awarded a 4-year Presidential Scholarship and graduated as the School of Business Student of the Year. She was also recognized as the 2012 Greek Woman of the Year for her work in the Gamma Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and was a 2011 Leadership Fellow within the Sorority. In 2017, the University recognized her outstanding work as an alumnae and she was awarded as a 2017 "40 under 40" recipient.
Lady Portsha started her professional career in the DMV area (DC-Maryland-Virginia) managing a multi-million-dollar portfolio of federal grants for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She also worked at a private contracting information technology firm where she used her knowledge in grants management to develop innovative content for grant managers and provide in-person and web-based training for grantors. Lady P. started at Boston University's School of Education in the Graduate Admissions Office while simultaneously completing her degree in Higher Education Administration. She led event planning for the Schools' admission recruitment fairs and accepted students events while also counseling prospective students through the admissions process.
After working with graduate students, Lady P. decided to transition to working with students who were most in need and at risk of not enrolling in college. She now serves as the Senior College Success Coach at the West End House Boys and Girls Club in Allston/Brighton. The majority of her work is done through the Success Boston initiative, a program funded by The Boston Foundation, providing college access and persistence services to Boston Public School students. Currently, Lady P. is serving in her fifth academic year, supporting students at community colleges and state institutions through virtual and in-person academic, financial, and life coaching. In addition to her direct service responsibilities, Lady P. manages the program's annual scholarship fund and summer internship program. She is also the Scholarship Chair for Psi Omega Chapter's Scholarship Committee, providing over over $20,000 in annual scholarship funds for high achieving students of color. She recently ended her services on Mayor Walsh's millennial council, called SPARK Boston.
At. St. John, Lady Portsha seeks to utilize her naturally kind and interpersonal nature to serve on the Hospitality Ministry, Pastor's Aide Committee, and annual Community Day Committee, where she also manages the Rafe D. Kelley Scholarship Fund. She also uses her analytical and administrative skills to serve as Grant Coordinator for the churches external grant opportunities, including the 2019 Imago Dei Fund.
With a background in public administration and higher education, Portsha uses her skill set to motivate students, help them realize their full potential, enhance their understanding of the world, and create quality citizens who are well-rounded and seek to give back to their Boston communities, both a practical and spiritual calling. Portsha enjoys traveling in New England, college football (Roll Tide!), reading mystery books, and exploring nature in Boston with her husband, Rev. Art Gordon