Community Connections

San Diego Foster Youth Current Events

May 9, 2023

Pinwheels  Planted On County Administration Center Lawn

On April 26th, our month-long Pinwheels For Prevention campaign culminated in the planting of over 400 pinwheels to create a pinwheel garden on the lawn of the County Administration Building followed by a press conference to help raise awareness and prevent child abuse.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas, Promises2Kids CEO Tonya Torosian, Guardian Scholar Makayla Scott, former parent Mary Ann Pascal, and San Diego County Child and Family Well-Being Director Kimberly Giardina spoke on the importance of the cause, and more pressingly, what we, as a community, can do to eradicate child abuse.

Thank you to everyone involved in Pinwheels for Prevention, from those who purchased pinwheels, to the ICW Group volunteers who helped plant the garden, our Prevention Partners, California Coast Credit Union, SDGE, San Diego Foundation, Andrew & Kristen Ruiz, Jack Green, and Marissa Parks, all the way up to the County for partnering in our efforts. Together, we can make a difference and end child abuse.

Volunteers’ Impact Celebrated at a Festive Appreciation Event

Volunteer Appreciation Month this past April reached its peak with an awards reception hosted at Bali Hai restaurant. The event was well attended by volunteers who were invited to relax and reflect on the impact they have made on San Diego’s foster youth. It was a special time to celebrate the amazing dedication of all our volunteers throughout the year.

While taking in the San Diego skyline over the bay, attendees exchanged stories and reminisced about their experiences as volunteers.

Guardian Scholars from our Advocates for Change group were also present to speak with volunteers and express their gratitude.

Promises2Kids CEO Tonya Torosian and Volunteer Manager Jenn Belgarde thanked volunteers for their time and presented the following awards to recognize the outstanding contributions of several individuals and corporations. Congratulations to all! 

  • Camp Connect Volunteer of the Year – Lee Otto
  • Rookie Volunteer of the Year – Femke Munting
  • Mentor of the Year – Michelle Rosenberg 
  • Volunteer of the Year – Monica Hill 
  • Corporate Volunteer of the Year – ICW Group 
  • Impact Awards – SDGE, ESET, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, & UPS 
  • Outstanding Youth Volunteers of the Year – National Charity League (NCL) and Teen Volunteers in Action (TVIA) 

Together, we are creating a brighter future for foster children. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer page or email

Camp Connect Siblings Dig Their Toes in the Sand at Camp Surf

There’s something about the sand, the sun, and the water that makes the beach such a fun and memorable place to be with the ones we care about.

Camp Connect siblings, volunteers, and staff kicked off their shoes and got right into just that at an overnight trip to Camp Surf in Imperial Beach. Camp Surf is a fun local getaway that youth took advantage of with archery, rock climbing, volleyball, and time on the beach.

After spending day 1 making the beach their playground, the youth gathered around for a campfire. As the evening wound down, they wowed their siblings and each other with a firelit talent show. Uplifted by the warm and supportive atmosphere provided by their siblings and volunteers, youth were fearless on stage dancing, singing songs, and telling jokes.

After breakfast, the whole camp convened for a morning game of volleyball. Then, campers were free to shoot arrows, scale the climbing tower, or just kick back. Our Youth2Youth Mentors along with older youth, hid easter eggs throughout the camp. Right before checking out, all collected as many candy and prize filled eggs as they could. They were delighted to have a small keepsake to take home along with a whole bunch of memories.

Guardian Scholars Glimpse College Life on an Arizona Campus Tour

Volunteers are vital members of the Promises2Kids team and do so much amazing work creating brighter futures for San Diego’s foster youth. 

We wanted to take some time to recognize the efforts and dedication of our Administrative Volunteers, our Mentors and Coaches, Camp Connect Volunteers, and Corporate Volunteers. 

Here are a few videos from our volunteers telling their story about how and why they got involved!

A Flag-Raising at The A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center Honors the Victims of Child Abuse

A moment of silence and a special flag-raising ceremony was held this morning at the A. B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center for Children’s Memorial Day, honoring children who die each year in the United States from child abuse and neglect, and stressing the importance of this issue during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

We are proud to partner with San Diego County Child and Family Well-Being and many other community partners in this vital cause and know we have strong allies in our fight to eradicate child abuse.

To report suspected child abuse, the County’s Child Abuse Hotline is always available at 858-560-2191 or 800-344-6000.