"Helping To Save One Youth At a Time!"

June 11th, 2010

Dear Rosalinda,

            I want to start this letter off by saying thank you for all the effort and encouragement you have given me throughout the whole leadership program. If it wasn’t for you and the rest of the volunteers, I would’ve never made it this far with my camp program. I know I rarely speak, but I observe and listen very well to what goes on in your class. That’s why I also want to thank you for the knowledge I’ve received from you. You know, sometimes I wake up and ask myself, “Why am I here?” The only answer that comes out of mind is to recover myself from bad to good, and I thank God for putting me in this rehabilitated center because I do need help like you guys. I am not a very happy guy, but I try my best to put a smile on just so I can make it through the day. Rosalinda, I love myself, I know who I am, I know what I am capable of, and I know my strengths. I like facing challenges; that way, I keep trying and trying until I get stuff right. I’m just letting you know more about myself because I have trust in you and you have helped me through thick and thin.

            Let me tell you a little bit about my family. I just have a mother three sisters, 5, 15, and 21, and 2 brothers. My mother has always been my both parents and I love her for who she is. She’s the love of my life, my everything. I never met my father and I don’t know who he is. I’ve only seen a picture of him, but I don’t remember any moments of him. My second parent is my grandmother. She’s also been there for me. She taught me good manners and also took care of me while I was growing up. She also told me this before I started getting incarcerated: “Roberto, you will always be my best and lovable grandchild of my life.” That means a lot to me. Thinking of her also makes me want to go home sooner, but I still continue to be strong so I can get home to my family. I just want to set an example for my siblings so they won’t go through what I am going through, depression and anger. I wasted six years of my teenage lifestyle in jail due to gang related crimes. Now, I’ve opened my eyes and realized who true friends are and what’s good from right.

            Hopefully you understand where I am coming from, Rosalinda. I believe I should get a second chance in life for what I’ve done for myself and my recovery. Thank you for taking time to read my letter. I just want you to remember who I am. Last, but not least, it was nice having you as a volunteer because I’ve motivated myself to keep moving forward in life due to the learning skills from you guys. Hope to hear from you back. I have a lot of respect for you, Rosalinda, and for the rest of the volunteers.


R. G.

Dear Rosalinda,

            Hello, how are you? I’m writing to you in regards to the special visit I received last month. Now, although I am aware there are few words to describe my gratitude to you and all who made my visit possible, I write you this letter in hopes to show my profound and sincere gratitude to you and all who helped put my special visit together with my son. I honestly thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you did for me. No one has ever done such a thing to help encourage a relationship between my son and I. Because of it, I declare myself forever in your debt. Honestly, I tell you that in spite of my incarceration, I have shared many laughs with friends and had some good days, but no one came remotely near the two days I spent with my song after having not seen him in 3 years. If I knew words that could better describe what I felt while I was with my son that day, I wouldn’t have to write this letter, but I don’t. So I say to you that there is nothing in this world that compares what I felt when my son called me, “Daddy,” told me he loves me, and how he’s going to miss me when he leaves, or just experiencing my son randomly walk up to me and hug me and tell me he loves me. Thank you, Rosalinda, for everything you did for me and my son. I will never forget this visit and all you did for me.

Thank you, L. S.

November 25th, 2009

What my visit meant to me and why?

            Being incarcerated for almost two and a half years of my life in Sacramento County Juvenile Hall, not being able to touch, hug, kiss, or even hold my mom took so much away from me. Having my mom ride those long hours to see her baby girl for who knows how long was very touching to me.

            That visit meant the world to me and more, because if I were still on the streets gang-banging, I wouldn’t have had that chance to do any of that. Seeing my mom and sisters made me want to think about what seeing, touching, and hugging my mom truly meant to me. I was being so selfish and just worrying about me and my issues and didn’t stop to think that I was hurting them. Looking my mom in the eyes and seeing tears roll down her beautiful face hurt me because I saw nothing but pain and stress because of me. So when you asked me what it meant, I would say I wouldn’t want anything else at the moment, but to be with them.

L. M.


 I shall not remain as I am today!

            Today if you were to look at my circumstances, I am incarcerated, I was told I was “cold, calculating, and that I lacked compassion for human life, I am 17 years old, gang affiliated, and I have not finished high school, you may say “he won’t amount to anything!”

             I would like to take this opportunity to refute your thoughts and change your mind. I would also like to give you an opportunity to see my situation through my eyes and experiences.

            I was born in riverside CA in 1997, a child of eight children, to a mother who had challenges of her own, who was an absentee parent, and who has also served time, and who just now is learning what it is to be a mother, thus I was in foster care. My father was an dis a hardworking man who also has served time, and although he understood his responsibility to his family, his resources were limited, and to make amends for his financial lack in order to provide for his family worked many hours, but embraced the responsibility of taking care of us all. In having lack of supervision, although being told to do the right thing, I was compelled to embrace the street life. It is hard for someone who has never lived in the environments I have dwelled to understand the challenges of a young, immature Hispanic, male or any male who has no idea who he is, or where he fits in. When living the daily challenging life I was living, with no one watching me 24-7 and telling me what to do, or how to do it, it was easy to get caught up in the neighborhood gangs.

           First it looked cool, to ditch school and hang out with other kids like me. Sooner than I realized, I had begun doing things that I knew were wrong but it didn’t matter because when you are caught up in that lifestyle drugs and violence are addicting. I don’t want to go into the details of my demise, however I will tell you how difficult it is for me to talk to my father and hear is voice crack because of the pain I have caused him. I will tell you that it is not fun being locked up and I don’t dare think about the time I’ve been given. I want to say I am sorry, and I have said “I’m sorry, for the things I have done because of all the people who have been affected by what I have done, but to me “I’m sorry” does little to remedy what I have done. It is because I am able now to think clearly, without peer influences and the use of drugs that I can allow myself to realize the damage caused by me. I am enrolled in school and complete my assignments, and am eager to continue my education.

             I am a positive youth that attempts to do the right things, because I want to do the right thing whether it is recognized by anyone or not. I do these things because I have desire to become the man that many thought I would never be. I know I will have greater success in the future. I have planned for this by making goals.

            Goals to finish my education in obtaining a degree in a social service field to reach back and help at-risk youth as I was. Goals to mentor my siblings, and those who need my assistance. Goals to prove to society that in spite of my bad start I will have a great and meaningful finish.

In spite of my past and current situation, I will not allow negative experiences define who I am, limit me, and/or prevent me from attaining success!


Dear Rosa!!!!!!!

            What can I say? Where do I start? Well, I will begin with Thank you Thank you so much for listening, advocating, and supporting me over these past few years. You have been here for me every time I have ever needed you and even when I don’t need you. You have been patient with me and so joyful when I am down. I have learned many lessons from and through you. I have grown within myself and I feel a change beginning to spark inside of me. I know this is cliché but, I really don’t know where I would be without you and your amazing guidance and advice. How do you do it? I do not know. I feel like it was destiny for us to meet because every young lady needs an amazing woman in their life to help guide them through life until they are able to guide and give back just like you have. You need a lifetime movie made about your life. I love you dearly and I am so thankful to have your presence in my wonderful life.




            Thank you for attending our Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise meeting and for the excellent presentation on the great work that “Women of Substance Men of Honor is doing.” Please also thank Ashiska for her insightful comments. The Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise if happy to support you and the work of your organization.

Thanks again,

Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise

Hi Rosalinda!

            I saw Luisa recently and she spoke of your silent auction and a need for baskets with goodies! I hope your event brings everything the ministry needs or you desire! Warm wishes go out to you and Dave. The 4 baskets are for the ministry. The single gift package is for “you” my dear! You are such an asset to the kids!


 Just wanted to say

            Thank you for taking the time to help fund my grandmother who I haven’t seen in years and my mother out to see me. It mean a lot. It gave me the strength and motivation to overcome this obstacle. When someone says they would help me they always lied. But you really came through with your word. You’ve helped me and blessed me and my family In many ways. Just would like to say thank you and God bless.


Dear Rosa,

            Thank you for your leadership, organization, and support for the assembling of the gift bags at Christmas, as well as the Dessert Social for the girls. I appreciate your time, talent, and treasure that you give to the youth at VYCF.
Blessings for strength and joy as you continue in your ministry.



What it means to be Human

            I am human. I feel, I listen, I speak, I cry. I am unaware to many things. There are many questions I have, but I do not have the answers too. I learn what I have; from falling down, bleeding, and being alone. I am imperfect. I am Human. I will learn from where I have failed. I am able to forgive. I am able to love. I am Human. There are many like me. Together, we can make the biggest differences. And together, we can decide to forgive, love, and work together.


Thank you very much

            for the gas card, Rosalinda. It really meant a lot for me and my family. i got to see them. Graduation was good but short. Take care and God bless you!