David & Margaret
Youth and Family Services
1350 Third Street
La Verne, CA 91750
Phone: (909) 596-5921
Fax: (909) 596-7583


March 13, 2018


Former Resident Terri B: How David & Margaret Helped Me

Terri B was just seven years old when she and her younger sister were whisked away from their home and placed in the foster care system. The accusations of abuse against a parent were much later proven false, but for the time being, they were entrusted to foster families that she describes as abusive themselves. “We were afraid of speaking up. Eventually the court thought that a group home would be a better fit.”

The girls were placed at David & Margaret Youth and Family Services. “What a relief!” says Terri, now an adult. “We had no protection from our foster moms, but here, there are so many staff. They helped me break my protective shell and learn to communicate. We felt safe and secure here. I tried to take advantage of every opportunity that David & Margaret offered.

 “It was one of the best places I ever stayed,” she says of her year-and-a-half-long placement. “We learned life skills like how to budget and how to spend money, how to look for housing, a job, even how to cook. Not only that, but we got experience with working – my sister in the store and me in the cafeteria. They deposited money in savings accounts for us to have in case of an emergency. They also gave us an allowance, which meant so much to me. I’m a saver.”

The agency’s Learning Enhancement Center, which helps diagnose and treat learning disabilities, helped considerably, she says. “I had a hard time focusing because of being in foster care – it took all the focus I had just trying to get through the day.” Terri graduated high school with her class and took college courses in child development – “I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher” – before marrying and becoming a mother of two.

She and her sister were reunited with their family when Terri was a junior in high school, but she has fond memories of her time at the agency. “I’m surprised that David & Margaret isn’t better known,” she muses. “They offer so much!”

March 9, 2018
At David & Margaret Youth and Family Services, we're fortunate to have some of the best social workers and therapists in the business. As part of National Social Workers Month, we'll be highlighting one each week during March. First up: meet Diandra! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1niJ_CkP6UBu1nTCi18gK860n7hoHPqXH/view
March 7, 2018



Vicky Camarella, Director, Youth Workforce Training Program

The Youth Workforce Training Program is the one of the newest additions to the 108-year-old David & Margaret Youth and Family Services, and it’s being led by the agency’s newest director, Vicky Camarella. Camarella came to David & Margaret with a wealth of retail and e-commerce management experience.

The program is housed in a new facility on the agency’s south campus, and includes The Store @ David & Margaret and Dave & Maggie’s Café, both open to the public. They are designed to provide youth who are transitioning out of foster care, and into independence, with the basic skills they will need to get and keep a job.

Most transitional age foster youth have never held a job before. To help boost their chances of success, they receive extensive coaching from program staff before they are placed in an internship at the store or café. The program also includes paid internships at partnering local businesses, paid for by the agency, to expand the youths’ awareness of the myriad opportunities the marketplace holds.

Another aspect of the program is the Cedar Springs Apartments, also on campus, which provides supportive housing to former foster youth. Housing is the biggest hurdle faced by these youth, and without a secure place to live, they are less apt to be successful in other areas of their lives.

A group study project at the University of La Verne is working with her to create a business plan for the center. “I want to build our business and help these foster youth integrate,” Camarella says. “The store and café are driven by our community, and serve the purpose of helping the youth in our program. My dream is that kids who are here will come back someday and be the leaders on this campus.”

March 6, 2018

5 Questions: An Interview with Cynthia Corralejo

Lead Store Clerk, Youth Workforce Training Center


What do you most enjoy about working at David & Margaret?

I enjoy working with the staff and our clients. I like to train them, be a role model for them. I like my customers, and receiving and processing donations. I believe in David & Margaret’s mission, so I like to make money for it.

What was the most memorable experience you’ve had at David & Margaret?

Transitioning from the store’s old location in the Whitney Building, where I worked for 14 years, to the new location in the Youth Workforce Training Center. I enjoyed setting up the shelves and getting things ready to open.

If you could learn anything, what would it be?

I would love to learn nursing, but I’ve been in the retail field for 21 years!

Who are your role models?

Ed (Koshmider, store manager) and Juliette (Bidinger, former Resources manager). I can always go to Ed and get advice, get help with any problem.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a police officer. I thought I could be brave and strong, protecting myself and helping others in the community, making a difference.

Feb. 27, 2018

How We Help Foster Youth 'Age Out' Successfully

Our Executive Director, Charles Rich, recently spoke with KOST radio in Los Angeles about how David & Margaret Youth and Family Services is helping youth who are transitioning out of foster care and into independent life. Click here to listen: https://kost1035.iheart.com/featured/the-sunday-journal/content/2018-01-12-local-foster-home-opening-store-to-the-public/

Feb. 20, 2018

Part of the Cedar Springs Apartments complex



People, Not Numbers


David & Margaret clients are not statistics, not sound bites, not test scores or assessment ratings. They are, first and foremost, people – each one with unique strengths and challenges. Here is Robin’s story. Her name is fictional, but her story is not.


Robin is a foster youth who is transitioning out of foster care and into life on her own. She endured a very difficult childhood and serious mental health issues, and yet, through hard work and determination, she is expanding her life skills, employment, and educational experience. She is blossoming as an individual.


While working with Robin, it became clear to Social Worker Supervisor Wayne that she would do best by transitioning out of foster care and into the Cedar Springs Permanent Supportive Housing on David & Margaret’s south campus. This move would allow her to achieve her goals of growth and independence, while providing her clinical support and sense of familiarity.


He and Robin’s transitional social worker, Megan, worked closely with Robin, and they both advocated for this transition. Megan helped her gather the required paperwork and take the necessary assessments - but they hit a snag. Robin didn’t score high enough on the assessment to be placed at Cedar Springs. Wayne, Megan, and Program Supervisor Marissa agreed that the assessment didn’t accurately capture her level of need, so they teamed up to fight the ruling. 


A conference call was set up between Robin’s advocates at David & Margaret and the two supervisors who oversee the placement of clients into Cedar Springs. Both supervisors said that Robin couldn’t be considered because of her assessment score. Wayne described her clinical needs, though, and the importance of how Cedar Springs can meet her long-term needs, while making her feel safe and supported.


Marissa told the supervisors that social workers need to look beyond assessments and make the call that is best for clients as individuals. After about 20 minutes of deliberation, both the supervisors agreed with the David & Margaret staff, and Robin will most likely be moving in to her new housing this month. 


For more information on the Transitional Housing Programs: (909) 596-5921, ext. 3625 or ScholefieldM@DavidandMargaret.org.