Don Stoff

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

Orange County Probation Department
Volunteer Probation Officer

The Volunteer Probation Officer (VPO) Program offers a unique opportunity to be part of the exciting and challenging field of criminal justice. VPO's receive 51 hours of classroom training, 2 on-site visits to the Orange County Probation Juvenile Institutions and 10 hours of job training. VPO's perform duties similar to those of the department's Deputy Probation Officer, and participants gain personal satisfaction, work experience and an opportunity to develop new skills in an exciting and challenging field.

Don Stoff has served as a VPO since 1995 and was assigned to the Youth Guidance Center in 2004. Specifically, Don tutors youth in math and assists them in successfully passing the GED and California High School Exit Exam. He dedicates two days each week to his work with troubled teens, generously volunteering his time, talents and expertise on their behalf.

The majority of youth who reside at Youth Guidance Center are academically at-risk and working below grade level. Don’s focus on math tutoring has been instrumental in helping the students improve their test scores and enhance their self-confidence through academic achievement.

According to YGC/Rio Contiguo High School teacher Jose Tapia, Don works with the lowest performing students, building their skill level so that they successfully pass the GED and California High School Exit Exam. Don motivates youth to embrace learning and understand the importance of education. Over the years, his volunteer involvement has changed the lives of many students who would not have advanced academically without his intervention.

Don has worked tirelessly as a VPO, especially in his efforts to redirect the lives of troubled teens. Even as he struggled with personal health issues, his commitment to service never waivered. Over the years, Don has demonstrated a unique ability to engage young people and move them in a positive direction through education and academic success.

Click here to access the Orange County Probation Department Web site.