I noticed the streets of San Diego had a lot of homeless youth living in their cars, in our parks and on the steps of local businesses. I was concerned and felt like I needed to do something to help make a difference as this wasn’t acceptable to me and I wanted to know what was happening to our youth.

I met with the CEO of Promises2Kids and she gave me some statistics as to the number of homeless foster kids on our streets and what Promises2Kids was doing to help make a difference. I immediately wanted to learn more and get involved. I have been on the board for the past 5 ½ years and have seen the impact of our foster youths’ successes; graduating from college, vocational school and feeling a sense of belonging and self-worth. I am proud to be part of an organization that is making a difference in the lives of foster youth. There is nothing more rewarding then attending our Guardian Scholars events and listening to the students’ stories about the impact Promises2Kids has made in their lives.

On a personal side, it wasn’t until after a few years as a board member that I learned that my father, who had passed away, had two sisters that were in the foster care system. His father was deported back to Oslo Norway when my father was a young boy. He never knew what had happened nor could he locate his father after trying for years. When he passed, his sister found the family and connected with us. She told us the story of their father and how she and her sister were given up for adoption and lived in foster care. It was great to connect with family we never knew and learn about the foster care systems. Discovering what my family had been through has strengthened our relationship.

Rob Pedersen