When I first set out to find the perfect charitable organization to partner with, I was referred to Bill and Camilla Ryland at Koinonia Homes for Teens.  As soon as I met them, I knew I had found my new ‘second home’.  Their genuine love for these kids is boundless.  It’s their passion and commitment that drives the entire program. They are truly amazing!

A portion of the Koinonia Home for Teens Advisory Board:
Bill, Deena, Laura (Koinonia graduate & current Advisory Board Member), Dorian & Camilla

Laura is one of our many success stories. Since graduating out of the foster program, she has worked full time and put herself through school all while continually giving back to the program that helped her become the wonderful young lady that she is today.  Our scholarships helped her complete her associates degree and we are thrilled that she recently got accepted to an excellent Registered Nursing program in Arizona.     Click Here For Laura’s Story

 We surprised her with some ‘seed money’ to help her get moved and pay for school.  I am happy to report that she is doing great and we have already ‘reserved our front row seat’ at her graduation…tissue box in hand, of course.

As an Advisory Board Member, we have the kids join us in our meeting to share their story of what their lives looked like before coming to Koinonia Homes for Teens, what they have learned since they have been here and what they plan to do with their lives after graduation.  I am typically blown away by what they have endured in their young lives…its unfathomable!

I keep a box of tissues beside me and do my best to keep my composure, but more times then not, I’m a complete blubbering mess.  All I can think of is “these are kids…no different than my two boys…they should never have had to live like this.” 

We teach the kids the importance of family and the fact that “Family” really has nothing to do with DNA and everything to do with surrounding yourself with quality people who love you, who support your dreams and who will always be there for you.  We encourage the graduating kids to stay connected to the their Koinonia family, as we will always be there for them.  Check out this heartwarming letter from a former Koinonia kid.