StandUp for Kids – Orange County
[pictured left to right: Brittany and Justine]
Looking back on the last 15 years together, Justine (Executive Director) and Brittany (Marketing & Fundraising Manager) of StandUp for Kids – Orange County reflect on the beginnings of their relationship and how it has evolved over the years.
Brittany grew up in a low-income household with a brother and a single mother. With her mother having worked multiple jobs, Brittany spent her free time hanging out with friends. At 15 years old, Brittany found herself getting into some trouble and hanging out with the wrong crowd. At one point, she was living in a car or in motels that aren’t meant for a teenage girl. Luckily, she was introduced to StandUp for Kids.
Justine was Brittany’s mentor all throughout her youth helping her utilize StandUp for Kid’s services such as: medical, mental health, GED tutoring, clothing, groceries, housing, and more. As a mentor, Justine helped Brittany navigate these services as well as providing emotional support at a moment’s notice.
Brittany says, “Aside from the valuable resources that StandUp for Kids provided, Justine truly proved to me that she would always be there and love me until I could love myself. I’ve had her phone number memorized since I was 15 years old because I knew I could always depend on her. I tell everyone that I am not sure where I would be if it wasn’t for this mentorship/relationship.”
In 2014, Brittany was hired at StandUp for Kids, crediting Justine with teaching her new skills in leadership, professionalism, training volunteers, mentoring youth, public speaking, and more. Brittany has had the role of Admin. Assistant, Assistant Executive Director, and now Marketing & Fundraising Manager, after discovering her passion for Marketing and building relationships with donors.
Now, having known each other for 15 years, Justine and Brittany are able to look back on their journey with admiration, laughter, and as a motivation to provide other youth with the same, if not better, experience. Being part of StandUp for Kids has not only given Justine and Brittany the ability to build a stable and long-lasting relationship but has also allowed both to help thousands of youth in need.