Rosalinda was born in New York and was sent to live with her grandparents when she was an infant. At the age of 17 her grandparents passed away and she returned to live with her mother in White Plains. Rosalinda's mother had a substance abuse problem and was not able to provide a suitable home for her. For a while Rosalinda lived with a friend and finally found a place of her own. Faced with the challenge of supporting herself, she turned to a local human service organization which referred her to a community outreach program operated by an Episcopal Church and supported by Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York.
The programs of Episcopal Charities reflect the commitment of Episcopal parishes to serve the poor, to renew families, and to reinvigorate neighborhoods. Through the efforts of 94 community outreach programs extending from Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island, and into 7 counties north and west of New York, Episcopal Charities serves 200,000 men, women and children each year. These programs, making a huge impact on the lives of those living in the community, range from Grace Church Soup Kitchen and Summer Program in White Plains, Iglesia San Andres' Food Program and the Summer and After School Program in Yonkers, St. Andrew's, Brewster Nursery School, to Trinity St. Paul's Brown Bag Lunch Program in New Rochelle, St. John's Getty Square, Fessenden Recovery facility for men in recovery from severe drug/alcohol addiction, in Yonkers, and St. Paul's Church, Jornaleros Project (Day Laborers Project) in Spring Valley. These programs address issues of hunger and poverty, care and nurture to the elderly, housing and advocacy on behalf of the working poor and those living with HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol addiction as well as reaching out to the most vulnerable in our society-our children. Presently Episcopal Charities support 16 community outreach program in Westchester and Putnam Counties.
Rosalinda says things have begun to change for her because of the loving support and steadfast effort of the people at the community service program. The program director has often said "I'll go anywhere for these kids, go any distance for them as long as they are willing to meet me half way." Rosalinda has never had a problem meeting her half way. She attends the outreach program daily, applies herself to her studies and attends school while maintaining a part-time job.
Rosalinda admits she couldn't do it alone. "The program and the program director have helped me with numerous things. They have given me love and emotional support, they helped me apply to colleges, and have loaned me study books to prepare for the SATs".
All that hard work and love are already showing dividends. Recently, Rosalinda graduated second in her class at a school which she loves. English is her favorite subject. She likes it because it helps her express herself better and because it will be invaluable to her pursuit of a degree when she attends college.
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