Find out where our ASOH recipients are today and learn how your support has helped to transform the lives of these former foster youth – who have gone from simply surviving to thriving.
Michelle is a single mother, raising three children, one with special needs. She is a barista who is pursuing acting and furthering her equation. After her home creation in January 2020, she and her daughter Olivia immediately began volunteering — paying it forward to support others in their situation. Through this experience, both Michelle and Olivia found new a community and friends. Michelle and Olivia became best friends with Elizabeth and Naomi (above). Each has been extraordinary in supporting recipients of home creations and their children. Making them feel comfortable in embracing the overwhelming experience of having 25+ strangers in their empty apartment to make it a home. During the process of a home creation the ASOH Team shares resources that the recipient can access to improve outcomes in employment, well-being, and education. We also create a vision board with the recipient. Having the presence of Michelle, Olivia, Elizabeth, and Naomi always means that the recipient is more inclined to embrace the critical resources and the opportunity to reflect and create a vision board for a new future. We are excited to see what the future holds for these magical people. We know we’ll be celebrating their successes for many years to come.
Elizabeth is a teacher’s aid who is also studying film and TV at Santa Monica College while raising her almost 10-year-old daughter Naomi. After having her home created in October 2019, Elizabeth began bringing her daughter Naomi to volunteer to create homes for their peers. The more they paid it forward, the more they realized that they were a conduit for change. At first, both were painfully shy. With each opportunity to pay it forward, they realized more and more that their voice matters, and they each began to shine in new and different ways. The more they pay it forward, the more they feel connected to the community. The more they pay it forward, the happier they become and they share their contagious joy with others. Elizabeth doesn’t have a car and yet she and Naomi volunteer each and every week, come rain or shine. We are so excited to see what comes next for this amazing mother-daughter duo. We are here to support them both.
Fatima is now studying for her master’s degree in social work as she raises her two incredible children Azaiah and Penelope.
After her home creation in April 2019, Fatima was able to take in her siblings and their loves during the pandemic when they were faced with homelessness. As Fatima conveys in her video testimony she has been able to nurture not only herself but her kids, her siblings, and their loves as well as her supportive friends. Fatima has been able to provide shelter for others and build community and healthy relationships.
Recently Fatima and her two remarkable kids joined ASOH in creating Fatima’s sister’s home. Vanesa is studying social work at Cal State LA and hopes to become a social worker for foster youth. Fatima’s son, Azaiah, displayed an astounding work ethic in helping create his aunt’s home. Penelope is a fabulous artist and made beautiful art for her Aunt Vanesa’s home. Vanesa also loves to paint and received an artist’s kit from the volunteers who created her home.
Next, we create a home for her brother, Jacob. The ripple effect continues
In early 2019 ASOH created Julisa’s home, where she inspired us by saying that what she most loved about the home creations was “having this raw, authentic, human experience — where we are connecting with one another’s soul. It’s just beautiful.”
A single mother, Julisa has now graduated from her LVN nursing program, and will go on to become an RN and earn her bachelors degree. Congratulations Julisa! We are so honored to know you. Not only is Julisa an amazing mother, auntie, and sister, but also such an immense support to her former foster youth peers, while serving the broader community as a nurse. Thank you for all the many occasions that you have paid it forward!
Shero of the week ~ Julisa xoxoxo
We created a home for Chy in 2018. She said to pronounce her name “Shy” so we would understand just how shy she is. She was very soft spoken and told us that she had been suffering from anxiety and that someone had recommended modeling to overcome her fear of being noticed. So ASOH recommended a modeling agency owner as a mentor for Chy. The mentor quickly took Chy under her wing and ensured she secured empowering work. Chy is now a very successful model and is writing a children’s book. After a scholarship to a media workshop, Chy is working with ASOH to elevate her now strong and commanding voice to share resources with her peers and empower them to embrace ASOH as a portal to connect with the general public and other agencies to find mentors, gainful employment, therapy and wellness services, parenting skills, and attain educational goals.
Chy has paid it forward more than any other recipient (pandemic and all) and she always serves with empathy, kindness, joy and an open-heart. Chy’s work ethic, grace, humility, humanitarianism and great sense of decency reflects the ASOH core values.
When Felicia reached out to let us know she had been accepted to Columbia Law School, it occurred to us that she really embodies all that ASOH is about. This is Felicia after her home creation in 2019.
We first met Felicia in ASOH’s earliest days. It was in 2015 when she was moving into off-campus accommodations near USC, where she was studying for her bachelor’s degree in American Studies & Ethnicity. Felicia was so very softly spoken. She had secured a room in a large house and had no furniture whatsoever. We created a sense of home for her by providing a full and fabulous bedroom with a cozy bed, desk, large wardrobe and all the essentials. We were so surprised when she soon after came to pay-it-forward. She had been so very shy, and it takes courage to reach out and ask to volunteer, show up and work hard, then do it over and over again. Her voice grew and grew with each home creation. She then graduated, took a job in San Diego and earned a Fulbright Scholarship working in Mexico City, then accepted an internship in the Bay Area before returning to Los Angeles in 2019, when we created a home for her. That space became her base to work from full-time while preparing for her law school entrance exams – and she secured her number one dream school! Felicia never stopped volunteering or paying-it-forward with ASOH. And has not stopped referring young women to ASOH. Like her sister Alexys. Felicia captures the ripple effect of ASOH, and her grace, humility, humanitarianism, and great sense of decency reflects the ASOH core values that we hold so dear. We are so proud of Felicia and the fact that she has shared her journey with us.
Felicia’s desire to become a lawyer is so she can advocate for youth in the juvenile justice system and foster care system, while shaping new policy to create criminal justice reform and foster care reform. She seeks justice, equality and peace for all.
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