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    Head of nonprofit has spent her career in service to foster children

Head of nonprofit has spent her career in service to foster children

The San Diego Union Tribune  April 6, 2019

By Lisa Deaderick

Photo by K.C. Alfred

Tonya Torosian began working with children in foster care as a social worker in Chicago, and it was there that her passion for foster children began.

“I had never heard of foster care, and thankfully, I have a loving and supportive family, so seeing children being abused was shocking to me,” she recalled. “Even more disturbing was learning and seeing firsthand that the foster care system was equally abusive for many children. The majority of my caseload had a long history of systemic abuse and felt hopeless and unprotected.”

While that was more than 20 years ago and there have been significant improvements in supporting children who are in foster care, those kids from her first job compelled her to make a career out of supporting and helping children in the system. Over the years, she’s worked as a social worker and in the nonprofit sector to create programs and policies to improve the lives of kids in various states.

Torosian, 48, lives in the Talmadge neighborhood of San Diego with her wife, Karla, and their 2-year-old son, and is the CEO of Promises2Kids, a nonprofit that provides programs, services and funding to support current and former foster youth. She took some time to talk about the organization and her work with them, and her love for a specific decade of music.

Q: Tell us about Promises2Kids.
A: Promises2Kids was originally founded in 1981 as the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation. Our original project was to raise the $12 million to build the A.B. and Jessie Polinksy Children’s Center, San Diego County’s emergency shelter for abused and neglected children. We have since raised $7 million to […]

By |April 10th, 2019|Newsroom|Comments Off on Head of nonprofit has spent her career in service to foster children

Co. Opens Location and Opens Its Heart With Donation

San Diego Business Journal February 12, 2018

By Stephanie R. Glidden

Arhaus LLC, a nationwide home furnishings company,  donated $16,921 to Promises2Kids. Arhaus selected Promises2Kids as its charity of choice to receive 10 percent of sales during its recent grand opening event at Westfield UTC.

Promises2Kids, a San Diego-based nonprofit with a focus on foster care and children's welfare, provides more than 3,000 current and former foster youth in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities, and guidance they need to address the circumstances that brought them into foster care, overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow into healthy, happy and successful adults.

Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids thanked Arhaus and said: "It is because of companies like Arhaus and charitable members in our community that we can continue offering programs that benefit current and former foster youth in San Diego County." 

By |February 22nd, 2018|Newsroom|Comments Off on Co. Opens Location and Opens Its Heart With Donation
  • Carrie and her husband, Scott, with their oldest, Evelyn (right), and Catherine
    Permalink Carrie and her husband, Scott, with their oldest, Evelyn (right), and Catherine 
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    Pacific Beach family dedicates business to helping Promises2Kids

Pacific Beach family dedicates business to helping Promises2Kids

San Diego Community Newspaper Group February 8, 2018

By Victoria Davis

While she identifies first and foremost as a mother, others see Carrie Miller as a one-of-a-kind philanthropist. Seven years ago, in honor of her oldest daughter Evelyn’s first birthday, Miller and her husband Scott made a donation to Promises2Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of abused children in foster care. 

But this wasn’t Miller’s first introduction to the nonprofit. A few months after Evelyn’s birth, Miller was looking for ways to get out of the house. While on the Volunteer San Diego website, she found an opportunity for reading to toddlers. Miller still gets emotional remembering her first time walking into the A. B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center. 


“I remember being in this big room with a bunch of people and the center showed us this introduction video of Norma Hirsh talking about how there used to be a 24-hour hotline for abused animals, but there wasn’t a 24-hour hotline for abused children,” said Miller. 

“As the video went along, I was completely gutted, especially as a new mother racing with hormones. There’s absolutely no words to describe the horrific things these kids go through.”

Norma Hirsh founded The Child Abuse Prevention Foundation in 1981 to raise community awareness of child abuse in San Diego. In 1994, the children from the run-down, and grossly overpopulated, Hillcrest Receiving Home were relocated to the newly established Polinsky Center, which today can house up to 200 foster kids. Fifteen years later, The Child Abuse Prevention Foundation became Promises2Kids.

“We’ve definitely grown and evolved,” […]

By |February 22nd, 2018|Newsroom|Comments Off on Pacific Beach family dedicates business to helping Promises2Kids

A Brighter Future

Giving Back Magazine  February 2018 Issue

Jolene and Owen Perry hosted a winemaker dinner in North County to benefit Promises2Kids. Guests enjoyed culinary delights and tasting various wines throughout an elegant evening. For over 35 years, Promises2Kids has responded to the needs of foster children and provided support to children removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. 

By |February 22nd, 2018|Newsroom|Comments Off on A Brighter Future
  • Jeannine & Maria
    Permalink Jeannine & Maria Gallery

    San Diego non-profit brings together former foster children and mentors

San Diego non-profit brings together former foster children and mentors

 

Encinitas Advocate February 1, 2018

Rancho Santa Fe Review February 8, 2018

By Brittany Woolsey 

For 24-year-old Maria, pairing up with a mentor through Promises2Kids wasn't just meeting a requirement to receive a college scholarship. It was a chance to meet a woman who she would soon think of as a mother figure.

Maria, who lives in Oceanside and preferred not to disclose her last name, met Jeannine Watkins of Olivenhain three years ago after Maria was accepted for the Guardian Scholars scholarship through Promises2Kids, a San Diego-based nonprofit that offers support for current and former foster youth.

"I had applied for scholarships before and gotten money, but this one had a whole different area to it that I wasn't expecting to be very valuable to me," said Maria, who entered the foster care system when she was about 4 and became independent at the age of 17. "Being a foster kid, I knew how it was to receive a mentor but then I also know, working with foster youth, how they receive mentors as well. For me, it turned out to be the best thing."

Maria and Jeannine said it took them about six months before they really got to know each other and found out they could learn from one another.

While the scholarship only requires the two women to meet about once a month, the pair said they tend to meet weekly for dinners, coffee dates and other events.

"It doesn't even feel like a requirement anymore," Maria said. "It's just this relationship we have."

Watkins, a former stay-at-home mother, said she originally […]

By |February 22nd, 2018|Newsroom|Comments Off on San Diego non-profit brings together former foster children and mentors

Promises2Kids Promotes Emily Wilson Hassig

San Diego Metro Magazine January 24, 2018

Promises2Kids announced the promotion of Emily Wilson Hassig to chief development officer.

Hassig comes to the organization with more than eight years of development experience and has been serving as the director of major gifts for Promises. Prior to joining Promises2Kids, Hassig oversaw fundraising initiatives at two Scripps Health hospitals — Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas and Scripps Mercy Hospital.

 

By |February 22nd, 2018|Newsroom|Comments Off on Promises2Kids Promotes Emily Wilson Hassig

Promises2Kids party salutes foster youth and mentors

La Jolla Light / Rancho Sante Fe Review January 11, 2018

Annie Navarra hosted the annual Promises2Kids Holiday Soiree on Dec.17 at her La Jolla home. Promises2Kids Guardian Scholars and their mentors were the guests of honor. ID Analytics sponsored the event. The Guardian Scholars program encourages foster youth to pursue highter education through community college, trade school or a university degree by providing them with a partial financial scholarship along with mentoring support to assist them in excelling in a higher education setting. More than 300 former foster youth have received scholarships, and more than 90 percent of them will be first-generation graduates. Learn more at promises2kids.org. 

By |February 22nd, 2018|Newsroom|Comments Off on Promises2Kids party salutes foster youth and mentors

Promises2Kids Dinner Benefit

Ranch & Coast Magazine January 2018

Owen and Jolene Perry hosted a dinner at their Rancho Santa Fe home to benefit Promises2Kids. Guests were treated to cuisine by Pamplemousse Grille paired with wines by winemakers Morlet and Paul Otto. Promises2Kids provides more than 3,000 foster youth in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities, and guidance they need to overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow into healthy and successful adults.

By |February 21st, 2018|Newsroom|Comments Off on Promises2Kids Dinner Benefit

Promises2Kids Celebrates ESET Partnership

February 1, 2018

 

San Diego, CA – ESET, a global player in information security in San Diego, has completed 3 years as a valued corporate partner of Promises2Kids supporting San Diego foster youth.  Through scholarships, mentors, event sponsorship and over 200 hours of volunteer support, ESET truly exemplifies a company that gives back to its community.  

“ESET is a hands-on group, whose passion and dedication to helping foster youth is evident through the time, talent and treasure which they have generously donated throughout the years,” said Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids.  “In addition to volunteers helping at our Concert Gala, Holiday Gift Drives and Back to School shopping event, ESET provided a team of volunteers who planned a fun day at Belmont Park for over 100 high school foster youth. ESET was also a key sponsor of our Guardian Scholars Awards Reception and Dream On Concert Gala, raising critical funds for foster youth.”

Tonya noted that ESET’s sponsorship of scholarships to help further the education of Guardian Scholars has been vital to the success of Promises2Kids students. Members of ESET’s senior leadership have also stepped up as mentors, and have played instrumental roles in the academic journeys of foster youth.

One of ESET’s employees has been an active mentor at Promises2Kids since 2016. For two years, she has supported her student throughout her college career and attends every Guardian Scholars event. Their relationship continues to grow stronger as time goes on.

“Promises2Kids is fortunate to have an amazing company like ESET right here in our very own backyard,” said Torosian.  Eset’s commitment to and support of Promises2Kids’ mission truly impacts foster youth and changes their lives for the better. They are making a huge difference for foster children […]

By |February 21st, 2018|Press Releases|Comments Off on Promises2Kids Celebrates ESET Partnership

ARHAUS Donates to Promises2Kids

January 31, 2018

 

San Diego, CA – ARHAUS, a company founded with a passion to provide unique, high quality, well-designed home furnishings, has donated 10% of grand opening sales to Promises2Kids. ARHAUS selected Promises2Kids as its charity of choice to receive 10% of sales during its recent grand opening event at Westfield UTC.

“We thank ARHAUS for honoring us as its charity of choice,” said Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids. “It is because of companies like ARHAUS and charitable members in our community that we can continue offering programs that benefit current and former foster youth in San Diego County.”

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By |February 21st, 2018|Press Releases|Comments Off on ARHAUS Donates to Promises2Kids