The Imagine Foundation

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

Social Services Agency

Teen Court Collaborative Steering Committee

ACTION: What does the volunteer do?

The Imagine Foundation, which is represented by the founding director, international best-selling author, and pastor, Dianne Wilson is based in Orange County. Under Pastor Dianne Wilson, The Imagine Foundation have been members of the Teen Court Collaborative Steering Committee for high, at-risk foster youth and young adults who are in the Dependency Court system for the past four years. Members of the Imagine Foundation participate in monthly steering committee meetings and help plan monthly events for the participants in the Teen Court program.

These events are designed to provide a safe and supportive environment in which young adults may forge healthy relationships with each other, members of the community, as well as gain exposure to a variety of activities and experiences they otherwise may miss. The Imagine Foundation additionally hosts a variety of important events, including the annual Teen Night Out and the annual Imagine Women’s Conference. They have engaged in major partnerships with organizations and businesses to provide support for the participants of Teen Court.

NEED: What community need does the volunteer address?

The Imagine Foundation exists to place value on people of all ages and stages of life by empowering them from the inside out. They collaborate with Children and Family Services (CFS) and the Teen Court Collaborative, as well as provide services to all foster youth. The Imagine Foundation provides the youth with the “Mirror Mirror” and “FREEDOM” curriculum to youth at the Orangewood Children and Family Center and at Juvenile Hall. The Imagine Foundation encourages participants to develop healthy self-esteem, to value their identity, to focus on increasing their resilience and to discover a sense of belonging. Additionally, the Imagine Foundation has helped to support specific needs such as providing gift cards for Teen Court participants to celebrate successes, achievements, or birthdays.

IMPACT: What is different as a result of the volunteer's service?

The Imagine Foundation provides youth and young adults of Teen Court with access to people and experiences they may otherwise not have. Additionally, resources are often limited and the Imagine Foundation has demonstrated a willingness and ability to fill the deficit and provide direct support through funding. The Imagine Foundation’s dedicated team have also provided direct in-person support and mentorship to those with significant substance abuse and mental health issues.

The result of these in-person contacts have been directly observed as changing the trajectory in the youths’ lives. In addition, the Imagine Foundation has also helped to link certain youth and young adults with potential placement options and life-long connections they otherwise may not have. These youth and young adults are often those who are very difficult to place and have no support or healthy relationships outside of their CFS team.

INSPIRATION: What makes the volunteer unique/special?

Since its inception, the Imagine Foundation has sought to place value on people of all ages and stages of life by teaching them how to value their identity. The Imagine Foundation intentionally designs its participation in the Teen Court Steering Committee to touch the life of anyone who has ever felt worthless, left out, self-conscious, bullied, confused, misunderstood, or forgotten. Through the various programs and events, the Imagine Foundation seeks to help unlock the potential of the Teen Court participants’ futures.

In addition, members of the Imagine Foundation have recognized the intense dedication and compassion of the various CFS members of the Teen Court Steering Committee, especially the assigned social workers. Specific members of the Foundation have sought to provide encouragement to the CFS members and recognize the need for self-care. This understanding and support has helped to forge high appreciation and engagement between CFS and a very important community partner. The Imagine Foundation instills hope for the youth and young adults of Teen Court and lets them know they are not alone, there are many options in life for them; and that someone believes in them.

Thank you and congratulations to The Imagine Foundation, recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!

Pictured from left to right: Dianne Wilson; Sergio Prince, Board of Supervisors 5th District's Community Relations Advisor