StandUp for Kids – Orange County
Our Road Map to Success (RMTS) program supports our youth to accomplish their graduation, professional and life goals by providing a safe space with mentors who serve as role models and provide them the tools to thrive.
Honey, a 17-year-old high school graduate, has only been with the program for three weeks. In just a short time, she said that she has gained a new outlook on life, with her mentors Kaitlin Rios and Xiamora Orozco guiding her to stay true to her commitments, budgeting and planning.
Before StandUp for Kids, living in an unstable household, Honey lacked support in every aspect of her life. From the age of 12, when her parents divorced and her father gained custody, basic necessities became scarce in the home.
The hot water, AC and WiFi would often get shut off and she became responsible for preparing her own meals, even though there was little food in the home.
The relationships between Honey, her father and her brother were non-existent even though they lived together. Her mother was absent during these years, slowly trying to get back into the picture and she rarely communicates with her three other siblings.
She learned everything on her own and had to find motivation within herself in order to overcome the challenges she faced.
During high school, transportation became an issue when her father refused to take her. She started being late, absent and stressed over her graduation status.
Despite this, Honey was able to receive her diploma, and early at that. However, the thought of self-sufficiency became overwhelming when she got kicked out. With little direction from reliable role models, she found relief when a friend mentioned StandUp For Kids and her school psychologist showed her how to initiate the connection.
Honey is in a safe and stable place now due to her resilience, our volunteers, donors and staff.
She looks forward to becoming self-sufficient and has goals for the future. She has found a job as a swim instructor beginning mid-April, is looking for a room to rent for when she turns 18 and plans on joining cosmetology school, though work and saving is her priority.
Honey’s story only offers us a glimpse of the many issues that our at-risk and homeless youth face. With your support we are able to create change in the lives of our mentees, motivating them in every step into adulthood.
Although still figuring out the facets of life herself, for other youth facing similar situations, Honey assures us that circumstances will get better.
She said that time isn’t infinite and we need to take advantage of it before we lose sight of the things that matter most.