His father, Dan, was on the Board of Directors of the Teenage Resource Center, a nonprofit in Orange County that provided support and counseling for teenagers.
His mother, Dorothy, was a professor at Fullerton College for 30 years, teaching child development and family living classes. Among other texts she penned, Dorothy authored the textbook, “Supporting Children in Their Home, School, and Community,” which looks at how the various parts of a pluralistic society impact child development, the role teachers play, and the importance of community and utilizing its services. Causes involving children, homeless families, and school issues have always been close to her heart. She is still active with Pathways of Hope, and has served on the World Organization for the Education of Young Children’s (OMEP) Executive Committee and U.S. National Committee-OMEP for a number of years.
Now a local business owner and active community member himself, Tim is a passionate supporter of The Guidance Center in many ways. With his heart for our mission, he inspires others to act so that they, too, can make a difference.
We sat down with Tim and chatted about how he got involved, what motivates him, and why he supports The Guidance Center.
When did you get involved with The Guidance Center?
I first got involved in 1999 as a mentor in the Connections Program. My dad had passed away in January of 1999. He had done so much for the community. I saw it as a wakeup call for me to do something myself and continue that legacy.
Being a mentor in the Connections Program was eye-opening, rewarding and challenging. I was paired with a teenager named Shawn, who I mentored for about four years and still talk to from time to time. Shawn has bipolar disorder and was abused growing up. When I first met him, he had tremendous anger problems and his mother was struggling with substance addiction.
I saw in Shawn all the emotional and physical needs that many children and families in our community have. I also personally saw the transformation of both Shawn and his family when they received support. It was not long after Shawn’s participation in the mentor program ended that I walked into a Walmart and ran into his mother who was now a supervisor at the store. I thought that was so amazing.
I believe Shawn was dealt a short hand, like a lot of our kids at The Guidance Center have, but I do believe that I was able to help change the trajectory of Shawn’s life. That’s what The Guidance Center does – by counseling and helping children and their families.
How are you involved in supporting The Guidance Center’s mission now?
Beyond supporting The Guidance Center financially, I volunteer my time as a Board Member and Chair of the Fund Development Committee.
I joined the Board of Directors in 2002. I really enjoy it. I’ve served in the past as President of the Board for six years. During that time, I led the initiative to move us into our new headquarters in Long Beach, hired Patricia Costales, LCSW, for our then-available Executive Director position, and helped The Guidance Center form a new banking relationship with First Republic Bank. My goal as a board member now is to strengthen our connections in the community and to expand beyond the constraints of our traditional funding structure that only allows us to see children and families who are already experiencing severe impairment and provide early prevention and intervention services so every kid has a chance.
In your opinion, what is the most important work that The Guidance Center does?
I believe that without The Guidance Center these kids wouldn’t have the help they need. With the counseling and other mental health services we provide, they learn coping skills that help them to do better in school and with their families, and are going to continue to help them as adults. It really does make a difference in our community when we help our kids while they’re young. It has a ripple effect.
What do you hope The Guidance Center will achieve in the near future? In the long term?
What we can never forget is that the kids served by The Guidance Center have economic challenges as well as emotional challenges. I think it’s great that we’re helping kids through our fellowship at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital, our Trauma-informed Movement in Education (It’s about T.I.M.E.) program at Beach High School, and our role on the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force. All of these are really important to addressing community needs. I’d love to see us expanding on these programs to reach more kids that need help.
What motivates you to stay involved?
It’s the kids. I’m not a morning person so before I head out of the house for the day, Kevin, my partner, always encourages me, “Remember, honey, it’s for the kids!”