A priest, rabbi or other religious minister might be seen as an everyday hero for their deep commitment and service to the community and yet we might not go out of our way to recognize them as heroes. After all, it's a vocation they've chosen and it comes with the job to be selfless, but Father Richard Estrada goes beyond the everyday in his mission to help forgotten and ignored children.
Father Estrada was nominated by his community to win an award for his work as the founder and president of the nonprofit group, Jovenes Inc. and also for his lifelong dedication to improving the lives of the young people he comes into contact with, especially children from foster care homes.
The mission of Jovenes is to help homeless youth and at-risk families become productive and integrated members of the community. The focus is on personal transformation with programs designed to give people the skills they need to find jobs, so they can become supportive members of the community.
Father Estrada has been working with homeless youth in the community since 1991, offering hope and stability in a nurturing environment. He believes "our youth are our future and we must provide opportunities for them to change their lives."
Do you know someone who works with children to help them reach their potential? Nominate them for next week's AmericanTown's Heroes.