Each year, more than 400 students participate in a HOBY California leadership program. These same students later participate in community service projects across the state, utilizing the critical-thinking, project-planning, and decision-making skills they learned at the seminars.
As students work to improve their schools and communities, they’re helping to fulfill HOBY’s mission—to inspire and empower youth to make a positive difference in the community, relying on understanding and effective, compassionate leadership. Along with service projects and other events throughout the year, HOBY California organizes four youth leadership seminars every June at local universities. HOBY is run entirely by volunteers, 95% of whom are recent alumni of the group's leadership seminars.
Looking for a reputable museum? San Juan Capistrano Historical Socie in San Juan Capistrano is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting unique works of art.
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Amanda fled an abusive relationship late one night. Carrying her 16-month-old daughter—still dressed in pajamas—she walked to a gas station to look for help. What she found was Human Options, where she received a safe place to sleep, nutritious food, and personal counseling. Human Options provided her with that help and, according to Amanda, its "incredible staff saved [her] life."
Last year alone, Human Options provided safe haven and counseling to more than 400 abused women and their children. Like Amanda, each person who comes to the shelter first calls the 24-hour hotline. When they arrive at the emergency shelter,
they receive their own room and nutritious meals. Families meet with a therapist, case manager, legal advocate, and child therapist twice a week, helping them gain emotional support and form a plan for when they leave the shelter. They also take part in a variety of classes led by certified personnel or outside professionals, including art therapy and budgeting. In addition to emergency services, Human Options provides a one-year transitional housing program to help survivors in their path to becoming self-sufficient.
In 1984, a group of Orange County community members founded Families Forward after realizing they shared the same vision. Their goal: to help support local families in financial crisis with housing, food assistance, and other services that could help them achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. Along with 28 transitional homes to help families dealing with the loss of their homes or eviction from their apartments, Families Forward runs a food pantry that supports more than 7,000 people each year, career workshops, counseling services, and seasonal programs for children. The transitional housing program has helped more than four out of five families served successfully transition from crisis to stability. Once a family's financial status and living situation stabilize, they can return to being independent, productive community residents, which helps kids from such households experience a safe, happy, and secure childhood—accomplishing Families Forward's number-one priority of protecting children.
While statistics for teenagers aging out of foster care often look bleak—with many becoming pregnant, incarcerated, or homeless at a young age—Lisa Castetter believes it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why she founded the Teen Leadership Foundation in 2008. By equipping youth with leadership and teamwork skills prior to their emancipation from foster care, the organization helps them enter adult life feeling empowered and backed by a support system.
Stable, adult mentors serve as positive role models, helping teens build confidence, trust, and self-esteem. Transitional-age foster youth work with their mentors and other community leaders during the foundation’s workshops, where they receive training in getting jobs, managing their money, enrolling in school, and developing other skills crucial to living independently. Additionally, the organization’s three-day leadership camps provide opportunities for foster youth to participate in fun, challenging activities with mentors and peers.
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