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February 2021

Pomona Hope

Student Spotlight: Aiden Crowley

By: Thea Barovick (Media & Development Intern)  

Aiden (left) and his brother Linden (right)

Aiden Crowley, 15, is an exceptional student and volunteer, and has been a member of the Pomona Hope community since second grade. Aiden’s younger brothers Linden and Bryden, older brother Orion, and mom Erika, have all been familiar faces at Pomona Hope for many years.

Aiden looks back on his earliest memories of Pomona Hope fondly. He recalls everyone always “having fun together. It’s always a good time.” Now a high school student, Aiden is still involved at Pomona Hope as a volunteer, currently in the Online Enrichment program. Even though Aiden can’t be at Pomona Hope in person,  he says the feeling of community is as strong as it has ever been. “It’s not as many people,” he says, “but it’s still the same experience… It’s always fun to volunteer.” 

As a volunteer, Aiden’s favorite part of Pomona Hope is helping the younger students with their homework. He especially enjoys helping with math, because he loves math.  Aiden looked up to the older students and volunteers when he was younger, and says it feels good to now be a role model himself. As soon as a student needs help, Aiden is there, “like a shoulder for them.” And it seems like the students love working with Aiden just as much as he loves working with them. He remarks that they are “always so nice” and “always so thankful for it.” Although he has more responsibilities as a volunteer, Aiden continues to be a leader and a role model to those around him. 

Outside of the hours spent on school and at Pomona Hope, Aiden extends his thoughtful and generous nature at home and around the house, helping with housework and cleaning up outside. Always one to lend a hand, Aiden also spoke very highly of his two younger brothers. “It always makes me think of them when I help other people,” he says.

Looking toward the future, Aiden has his sights high: he plans to work in computers and engineering, a field he describes as “fun!”

When it comes to the lifelong lessons Aiden has learned at Pomona Hope, it seems that the community has made a deep and lasting impact on him. “The community is always there for you,” he says. “Somebody’s always rooting for you, never forget that.”

Prayer Requests

1) Please pray for our students' mental and physical health as they continue to confront the challenges of online & distance learning.  

2) Pray that God would provide for Pomona Hope families, as some have reduced hours or have lost work during the pandemic.

Thank you to Charley's Kids Foundation for a recent $10,000 grant, Home Depot for a large donation, and to the James L. Stamps Foundation for sponsoring three new staff computers. Thank you for investing in the youth and families of Pomona!  
OurPromise California State Workers donor program makes it easy for CA state workers to donate a portion of their paycheck to Pomona Hope. Thank you for partnering with us!
In-Kind Donation Needs:
- Epson 125 printer ink
- $5 and $10 gift cards for Student Store
(see link at end for full list)

Volunteer Spotlight: Project Horseshoe Farm Fellows

By: Jessica Reid (Media & Development Intern) 
Project Horseshoe volunteers. Left to Right: Jack, Hemant, Angelica, Olivia, Nissma, Adriana, Alyssa, Sophie

Eight fellows from Project Horseshoe Farm, a community health nonprofit which launched its Pomona site last year, have been volunteering at Pomona Hope since the beginning of the school year.

The fellows, coming from all over the US, are in a program designed as a gap year before graduate school. Site Director Michelle McKinlay, once a fellow herself, describes their approach to healthcare as “bio-psycho-social.” Supporting a community’s existing health and education centers, the fellows work to improve people’s quality of life while being trained to be future “citizen service leaders.”

Michelle found that the missions and values of Project Horseshoe Farm and Pomona Hope were closely aligned. When schools shut down, they began a partnership that allowed the fellows to still be directly involved with youth programs. Michelle hopes that moving into the new year, Project Horseshoe Farm can continue to get to know their community and partners better.

Angelica Hocter, a fellow from Virginia, says that working with Pomona Hope has shown her first-hand how education fits into other aspects of health and well-being. The youth of Pomona Hope, whom she describes as funny, caring, and considerate, have been a very rewarding presence in her life.

Angelica reminisces about the relationships she has built with the kids and the time they decorated their classroom for the holidays. Angelica put on Christmas music, pulled up a fireplace on the desktop computer, and was delighted to see the creativity and teamwork that ensued.

Looking to the future, Angelica hopes “that we will all move forward with more empathy and compassion for those around us and what they have been through.” She would also love “to see all the kids' smiling faces on a regular basis instead of masks.”

Jack Ohringer says he has absolutely loved his time at Pomona Hope, which has solidified his desire to continue working with youth. He speaks joyfully of an hour-long conversation he once had with a student designing their dream bedrooms and laughs as he recalls a “great little dance party” he shared with a group of the boys one day during the Dance workshop.

Jack will be starting medical school next summer, but he thinks education will remain a big part of his life. He admires the work of people like Liz and Nora and how they have adapted during the pandemic, showing how possible it is to persevere. “It’s given me a lot of hope,” he says.

Something he has appreciated about Pomona Hope is how incredibly resilient the community is and how loving and generous he has found its members. Looking forward to 2021, he says he hopes, but also knows, that “more of that resilience and love will push us all forward.” 

Thank you to our donors!
Our end-of-year campaign brought in over $7,000 thanks to the generosity of our community. Would you consider becoming a monthly donor? Select the link below to sign up!
When you shop at you support Pomona Hope too! Remember to set your Amazon Smile link to Pomona Hope. 

In-Kind Donation Requests

Pomona Hope gladly accepts in-kind donations! Please find a complete list of current and on-going needs on our website here.  

Access the Archive!

Discover Pomona Hope's extensive history by accessing our newsletter archive!  These hand-selected stories are just a small part of what God is doing at Pomona Hope. Check the archive out! 

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Pomona Hope · 401 N. Gibbs St. · Pomona, CA 91767 · USA