StandUp for Kids - Orange County
by Carlia Oldfather
We are so excited and grateful to welcome Judi Wickham to her new leadership role. Although Judi has been volunteering with StandUp for Kids - Orange County for more than five months, it wasn't until a few weeks back that Judi approached StandUp with the desire to do more. Judi quickly felt motivated and inspired to take on one of the most important roles in any non-profit organization, Director of Volunteers.
Judi will facilitate all monthly Volunteer Training, work directly with me on developing and implementing a Strategic Volunteer Engagement Plan and she will lead all of the Orange County chapter's volunteer support & engagement efforts.
With Judi on board, we look forward to creating a volunteer engagement-centered culture that not only inspires others to serve, but also it moves us closer to reaching our mission of ending the cycle of youth homelessness, one youth at a time.
Judi Wickham was born and raised in England. From a young age, she had an interest in understanding people and a deep sense of compassion to help and serve. This led her to study Psychology in college, she then went on to work at The Mental Health Foundation in London, as the personal assistant to the fundraising Director. This work proved to be fascinating and taught her a lot about mental health and homelessness.
In the late 1990’s, Judi’s husband Steve, was offered a job in sunny Orange County. They moved here with great excitement and Judi quickly found a volunteering opportunity with the organization Human Options. She completed the 40-hour training in Domestic Violence and then went on to help wherever she was needed. She also helped mentor a young girl who had lost her mother, with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.
Judi and her family continued to move around with Steve’s job, taking them back to England for a few more years, then Charlotte, North Carolina in 2008. In Charlotte Judi trained to become a yoga teacher, Reiki healer and homeopath. Her passion for volunteering continued, teaching yoga to underserved youth and making sandwiches for a shelter in Charlotte.
In 2015, Judi and her family moved back to Orange County. After getting her two sons settled into their new lives in California, Judi continued teaching yoga and looking for volunteering opportunities. In February 2019, Judi came across a young man digging in the trash outside a store in Lake Forest. He looked to be about the same age as her older son, 19 or 20 years old. She didn’t know what to do to help him and took this as a sign from the universe to do something to help.
In March 2019, Judi found StandUp for Kids, completed the training program and started to serve this great community. She has served in many different roles, to include teaching yoga to the youth served at the Anaheim Center and and mentoring youth at our Irvine site and, as she states: "they continue to inspire me!". Judi believes in leading with kindness and trying to make a difference in the world, as we are all in this together. One love
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