This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Candy Espino, CEO at Youth Homes. Candy joined the #Youthhomes team in December of 2016. She came from an extensive background in community based executive leadership roles. She has a passion for youth and mental health services. Candy has five brothers from a blended family. She grew up in Southern California, then spent time living in Florida with her husband of 17 years, who was in the Coast Guard, before she landed here in the Bay Area. When I asked Candy where she would go if she could go anywhere she said she would go to the Netherlands to witness the amazing convergence of the Baltic and North Seas.
Candy has learned so many things during her tenure at Youth Homes. She finds it critical to focus on her staff and make sure they are well taken care of, as they serve the youth in so many ways and need to be nurtured as well. It’s important to integrate the Youth Home team with the clients. She has grown as a strategic leader and has found Youth Homes to be a healing organization. In her free time, Candy loves the outdoors and finding new places to explore. She absolutely loves sports and is a huge Dodgers fan. Her favorite concert was Natalie Merchant and if she had to pick a favorite food she would have to say...cheese! Right now she doesn’t read much for enjoyment as she is currently enrolled in an MBA program.
Youth Homes has a their annual “Hops for Hope” event coming up on May 18th at 4 p.m. at the Redwood Grove at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. #Hopsforhope is a fun event featuring tasty bites, hand-crafted beers, live music, good company and a picturesque Redwood Grove. They are partnering with the award-winning brew club #DOZE. There are tickets, sponsorships and gifts-in-kind still available. You could make it a great day by participating in the annual #Cancer SupportCommunity Hope Walk that morning and treat yourself in the afternoon at “Hops for Hope” -- all the while supporting our local community. (See the #phchambercalendar for more details.)
Youth Homes has been providing services to young people since 1965. Youth Homes employs approximately 100 people, most of which work out in the field.
Their mission is:
YOUTH HOMES PROVIDES A SAFE PLACE FOR FOSTER YOUTH TO HEAL AND GROW.
Their vision is:
A WORLD WHERE FORMER FOSTER KIDS LEAD HEALTHY, PRODUCTIVE AND WHOLE LIVES.
Our community is blessed to have such a vital organization here to support our youth. Due to the complexity and cost of foster care Youth Homes is one of the last remaining intensive-treatment, residential foster care agencies in the East Bay. Fortunately, they take in the youth who have nowhere else to go.
Youth Homes uses a #ContinuumofCare color wheel to show the cycle of what a typical youth may experience. (See flyer with photos.) Visit their website at https://www.youthhomes.org/ to learn more, volunteer, make a donation, or attend one of their events.
It was humbling and heartwarming to learn more about both Candy and the Youth Homes organization. What an amazing group of people who spend countless hours making a difference in not only the life of our youth but to our community and the world at large as these youth are the future of our community. Please volunteer. There are many ways to get involved as Elizabeth Chapple does as a #volunteer. She is a dedicated Youth Homes volunteer and joined us in the interview. I really enjoyed our time together and thank both Elizabeth and Candy for their time and commitment to our youth.