Looking Back on 30 Years: Jennifer's Story
March 10 2020
StandUp for Kids - Orange County
Like many who have come to StandUp for Kids, Jennifer Aubrey's story is one of perseverance and inner strength. Jennifer was faced with various challenges growing up amidst an unstable home environment that left her emotionally unsupported.
When things became untenable at home, Jennifer saw it necessary to move out, but would soon find herself without a home after plans had fallen through. After exhausting nearly every option, Jennifer found StandUp for Kids.
“I had nowhere to go because going back to my mom's house was not an option. I kept looking around online for different programs that could help me and I came across StandUp for Kids.”
Coming to StandUp for Kids was something that provided both immediate and long-term stability for Jennifer. It was integral to her turnaround as Jennifer was now receiving support that she had previously never received.
“They provided me support which was the main thing. They told me that I can do what I really wanted to do. They helped me find a place to live. They paid for my first and my last month's rent.”
“They helped me get back on my feet. They gave me goals for me to reach each week. Eventually, I was on my feet working a better job. I was living on my own and I became a mentor after that.”
However, the support that StandUp for Kids provided for Jennifer extended beyond simply resources. Specifically, for Jennifer, it was the emotional support she received from her mentors that was invaluable.
“I had three different mentors going through the program. I'm still friends with two of them today and they have shown me the care that I didn't know existed in the world. They took me out for my birthday. They were always there whenever I needed something. They helped me through some of the hardest times in my life when nobody else was there. I didn't really have anybody else and they stepped up to the plate and showed me that there is more out in the world.”
Jennifer’s favorite moments with StandUp for Kids were the times she spent with her mentors. It was something that she always looked forward to. Jennifer particularly fondly recalls having the chance to speak to students about her experiences.
“My two mentors yrae and Sandy took me out to dinner. We went to a conference for StandUp for Kids to go speak in front of a group of schoolchildren who had this club in their school to help raise awareness for homeless youth. It was a lot of fun.”
It’s this bond with her mentors that made Jennifer’s time with StandUp for Kids meaningful and still remains to this day.
Jennifer’s experiences with dealing with hardship and overcoming it with the help of love and support are reflected in her current outlook. Each day, she desires to inspire and help those in need.
“I like to help people. Anybody who needs help at any point in time, I'm there for them. I think that's a big part of my life. Whether it's just somebody to listen to them, or somebody to be there for them when they needed somebody to support them, it doesn't matter how I'm helping them.”
In a time of darkness Jennifer found in StandUp for Kids a family that supported her not only with resources, but with love and care. It’s something that she will never forget.
“StandUp for Kids is always an organization that will be close to my heart. No matter what I've gone through or what I'm going through, it will always remind me of a time when I was down and I made it through.”