A liberal studies major at Vanguard University, 20-year-old Avalos is grateful for the support and continued aid that the Orangewood Children’s Foundation provides to former and current foster children. After her mother and stepfather were arrested, Avalos spent close to two weeks at the Orangewood Children’s Home before going home with Joy Greenwood, her third-grade teacher and newly acquired foster mom. The foundation built the home in 1985 as a “temporary refuge for children who had suffered neglect or abuse,” the article said.
In addition to short-term housing, the foundation runs multiple programs and provides various services to assist former and current foster children. Programs include the Peer Mentor Program, the Guardian Scholars Program, the Orangewood Resource Center and the Children’s Trust Fund. With the intention of actively participating in this charitable work, Avalos submitted an application to become a peer mentor a few weeks ago.
Nearly every week, Avalos takes advantage of the services provided by the Orangewood Resource Center, whether it’s a hot meal or just a place to study. Grateful for the foundation and the individuals who make it possible, Avalos is quoted in the article saying: “The people there just show so much care and love… they love it and love helping strangers.” Many of the foundation’s workers come from foster homes, so they are able to relate with the children and give them advice from a place of understanding.
Now one of Vanguard’s many commuters, Avalos says Vanguard has helped her in many ways and she knows her life has really changed. She said: “Going to this school is a great opportunity because it allows me to keep the two most important things in my life together: my relationship with Jesus Christ and my education.”