Located in central Santa Ana, the Orange County Bar Foundation (OCBF) is committed to its mission to keep at-risk youth in school, healthy and drug-free through education, counseling, mentoring, and family strengthening. Our goal is to reach at-risk youth early and provide long-term solutions to the obstacles they face. This is accomplished by offering specialized services to help youth make positive and healthy life choices. For many of the youth we serve, this involves giving them a second chance to get back on the right path.
Jim Rose understands the tremendous value of having a second chance. He was 15 when he broke into a car one night with his friends. After stealing some cassette tapes, Jim was confronted by a police detective later that evening. Rather than entering the juvenile justice system, he was offered the chance to attend the SHORTSTOP program.
It was an opportunity that changed his life forever. Twenty-two years later, Jim still remembers his experience in SHORTSTOP, including what it felt like to sit in the holding cell and listen to parolees talk about their time in jail. SHORTSTOP helped him understand the consequences of his actions and change the course of his life. Jim is now a corporal with the Santa Ana Police Department and returns to SHORTSTOP occasionally as an instructor. “A lot of these kids are not bad kids,” he says.“They just screwed up, and now it’s time to get them back on the right path.”
OCBF is proud to serve over 750 Orange County youth like Jim each year. Our strategic plan includes positioning OCBF as a one-stop center for integrated prevention and intervention services that offer juvenile crime diversion, educational mentoring, health education, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services.
OCBF’s vision is to empower youth and their families to make positive choices, building the foundation for a lifetime of opportunity and success.