Orbi Rosario & Hannah Strope: Helping Our Youth By Mentoring

Orbi Rosario & Hannah Strope

‘Tis the Season to Give

Goodwill’s GoodGuides® Program Giving Back by Helping High-Risk Youth this Holiday Season

Orbi Rosario
Director of GoodGuides, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida

Hannah Strope
Participant in the GoodGuides Program

This holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to give thanks and give back to youth who are facing challenges within our communities. In days of uncertainty, there are still people who are providing direction and mentoring high-risk youth to help them succeed in spite of the unfortunate circumstances they may have encountered in their lives. Many studies indicate that a young person’s success can be greatly enhanced by an advocate or mentor — an adult who consistently helps a young person stay on track to graduate and make better life choices. Goodwill’s GoodGuides program is the source of many modern-day mentoring success stories.

The GoodGuides program serves youth, ages 12–17, who are at risk of dropping out of school and/or falling into delinquency. The program helps them finish school, transition into the world of work and prepare for success by pairing them with trusted adult volunteer mentors. Mentors help youth overcome disadvantages such as failure in school due to poor grades or low attendance, or avoid delinquency due to issues such as abuse, disability, drug or alcohol dependence, family violence or gang membership.

One such example is Hannah Strope. Although she has had a few mentors through the program, Orbi Rosario was the most influential after Hannah was involved in a serious car accident and struggled to stay in high school. Through the support of her GoodGuides mentors, she overcame financial struggles and family instability to become the first in her family to graduate high school. She now attends college and serves as a mentor.

“I never had anyone push me to do something until I met Orbi,” Hannah said. “From him telling me never to give up, that motivated me to finish high school.”

The program helps youth build career plans and skills, and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training and productive work. Most importantly, mentors serve as trusted and reliable resources to help mentees fulfill their goals and find job success.

On Tuesday, December 15, Hannah and Orbi are available to you and your listeners to talk about the GoodGuides program and how people can get involved with helping America’s youth overcome hardships they may have encountered. They will also talk about Goodwill’s end-of-year giving campaign and #GiveGoodwill.

 

MORE ABOUT ORBI ROSARIO

Orbi Rosario, 38, is the director of the GoodGuides mentoring program for Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, where he is dedicated to helping teens avoid the choices he once made. Rosario relates to the youth, as he was also a high-school dropout at age 16 and has been homeless three times. Rosario turned his life around several times. When he dropped out of school at 16, he was a gang member and his mother sent him and an older brother back to Puerto Rico to live with their father. As an adult, Rosario moved back to Florida, where he helped run a community center, launched his own nonprofit ministry and worked as a substitute teacher. But it was when he joined Goodwill as part of the GoodGuides program in November 2010 that he found his true calling.

 

MORE ABOUT HANNA STROPE

Hannah Strope and her twin sister are the first in their family to graduate from high school. Growing up, Strope was abused and didn’t know her father. Due to family instability, she went to four different high schools across Florida. When she met her GoodGuides mentor, she was still in high school, working two jobs to support her mother (who is on disability) and extended family of 10 people all living together in one house. The pressure on her was immense and she dropped out of high school for a time. She felt destined “to be a statistic” and never graduate. In the midst of all this, Strope was in a car accident. When she hit the windshield, a previously undiscovered tumor ruptured. She credits Rosario to supporting her through the long recovery process. Despite missing a few weeks of school following the accident, she was able to graduate high school at age 16. The GoodGuides program not only gave her the willpower to finish high school, it also connected her with a volunteer opportunity at United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida, where she worked with young people with disabilities. This has inspired her future career plans and she is now enrolled at Valencia College where she studies education and psychology and plans to earn her PhD. She also works at Nike full time. In her spare time, she serves as a GoodGuides mentor.

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