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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Orange County Community Housing Corp.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Homeless & Housing, Housing Development, Construction & Management, Literacy, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: Founded in 1977, OCCHC is committed to getting local, state, federal and private funds invested in housing for extremely low income large families and to providing the necessary tools to those families to enable them to get an education and job training.  The foundation of a neighborhood, community, city, state and nation begins with the family.

Target demographics: very low income students go to college

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 500 students

Geographic areas served: Orange County, California

Programs: the College Awareness Program which provides the student with a well-trained competent Academic Advisor and associated programs

Community Stories

118 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, my name is Lizbeth Ramirez and I am a junior at Ocean View High School. I have been in the program for about four years now and I have learned many many things. As the first in my family to be going to college, I knew nothing about how to get to college and what I needed to be able to apply. SteppingUP has taught me the difference between privates and public colleges, they have taught me how to be able to pay for college even if you don't have the money. From how to get to college, to learning about credit/debit, and having a healthy life style, SteppingUP has taught me many valuable lessons that will be very useful in my future. I am very grateful to have SteppingUP in my life. I don't know what my future would look like without it.

Aitxa F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love my experience here and will hopefully have my sisters enroll in SteppingUp.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Erika Ramos and I have been apart of STepping Up since I was in middle school. This program has positively influenced my life because it exposed me to college at such a young age. This experience allowed me to strive for a higher education and eventually make myself work hard enough to get accepted into my dream school. This non-profit is extremely beneficial to young people who wish to pursue higher education but don't have the push to get there. This non-profit with leave a lasting impression on those who wish to partake in this path.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love to share that SteppingUP has changed my life so much I was given so much opportunities and learned so much to purse higher education and to as well help seek employment. I love being here in this wonderful safe fun environment I had so much great memories here having to do so much as a family from different communities. I learned to bring changes in our community and gave lots of time to volunteer and give back. I thank everyone so much I give my great appreciation to everyone who has helped me learn and grow in the program. I would love to tell so much students about this program because they too will receive all the help the support and many more here in the program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello everyone, my name is Jerry Garcia. Even though I’ve been in the program for a year, I was immensely helped by the advisors from SteppingUP. They helped me with college applications, scholarships, volunteering hours, and much more. I owe it to them and the people that support SteppingUp for helping me through Senior year.

Stacey L.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello I’m Stacey Lopez, a recent High School graduate from Santiago High School in Garden Grove. My experience in SteppingUP has truly been one I will never forget. There were so many things going on and I never felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do. We had activities and field trips constantly being arranged by our advisors with the donations from our sponsors. Because of this program I went from learning my a-g requirements to making a resume for a job. My 6 years in the program have changed how I view education and success.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SteppingUP has become a huge part of my life and has helped me shape who I am and who I am going to become. They helped me when I was lost and confused, young and naive, without them I would probably still be as ignorant as I was before. Thanks to them I'm now a senior who is going to attend CSUF at the start of the fall term.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been a member since middle school and it has helped me so much! The weekly advising sessions are so beneficial, especially when getting ready to transition to go to a different school (middle school--> high school, high school-->college). Thanks to SteppingUP, I received clarification with FAFSA, college application, scholarships, and more.
I am so thankful of the support from SteppingUP that allowed my dreams of getting accepted into a four-year university a reality. I am now a graduating senior from the Huntington Beach community and I recommend this to other students!

Client Served

Rating: 4

I've been in SteppingUP since the 7th grade and I can frankly say that it has truly helped in understanding many aspects of life. Yes the main focus is college awareness but the advisors also take time to discuss emotional and mental health. The advisors in this organisation truly care about their students. The time dedicated to their caseload allows students and advisors to form a bond. The program's objective to ensure students have the necessary tools to pursue higher education and be successful is fulfilled in entirety. They provide many workshops on job interviews, resume-building, and public speaking to make sure they're prepared for real life situations. They also host book clubs to help progress student's reading and writing skills. A suggestion would be to host more science-oriented workshops and field trips. Overall I would recommend this program to any student looking for an extracurricular or general guidance.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been in SteppingUP for five years, and I can honestly say that it has been an amazing program to be a part of. Being a first generation college student I had no one to help me throughout the college application process, and I didn't have that much understanding of college. Once I became a part of the SteppingUP program I began to gain a better understanding of what college is and why it is so important. More than just being a college awareness program, SteppingUP is also a family. It is a place where you can not only learn about the benefits of college and how to get there, but you are also able to build relationships with people that you will forever cherish. Moreover, something that SteppingUP has also done is that they also involved my parents in the whole process. Before SteppingUP both of my parents didn't have that much of an understanding of college, and much less on the application process. Throughout this last year in SteppingUP I was able to realize that if it weren't for this amazing program I wouldn't be where I am today.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Anna Villanueva. I am a Junior at Ocean View High School. I have been in SteppingUP for 4 years now. From these four years I have become very knowledgeable of preparing myself for college, and for my life after high school. I have also learned to value my education because others don't have the same opportunities that I have. SteppingUP is an enormously great program, what makes them so great is that they make everyone feel like they belong, and like no matter where we come from we are all able to achieve success in our future. SteppingUP is also a great program because they provide us with so much information on college. SteppingUP also helps us on how to be prepared for what our life will be like once we become mature adults. My favorite thing about SteppingUP is that everyone is so nice and kind, and we all work together to achieve one goal which is to go to a great University and to be proud of who we have become.

Valerie S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am from Ocean View High School and I have been part of SteppingUP since freshman year. I like SteppingUP because they provide educational support and skills that I do not have at home. My favorite is career day because I meet professionals and have the opportunity to ask them any questions about their career that can help guide me through my future. The advisors are amazing: Stephanie, Maggie, Oscar, Mayra along with other advisors that are dedicated to all their students. I appreciate all the advisors hard work and everything they continue to do for us.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been part of STEPPINGUP since I was in 7th grade. I am now a senior in high school. This program has informed me about the higher levels of education and have given me opportunities that my parents could not.

Advisor

Rating: 5

OCCHC/ SteppingUP has helped and given low income families the opportuniuty to give them a better life. Not only are they helping many families with their living situation, but they are also helping the children continue their education. SteppingUP is giving these children the motivation and knowledge to further their education. This program teaches the children the different kinds of fields they will be able to study for in the future. I am very happy to be a part of OCCHC/SteppingUP and seeing these families thrive for a better life!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Orange County Community Housing Corp helps to change the lives of so many families by providing quality housing at affordable prices for families in their community. In addition to housing assistance, OCCHC, through their College Awareness Program, SteppingUP, also provides education and mentoring services to the young residents. I am impressed with the enthusiasm and excitement of every employee, volunteer, and mentor at this organization. It is obvious that they love the work they do, which is why OCCHC continues to impact so many lives in a positive way.

Donor

Rating: 5

Orange County Community Housing Corp is truly a caring organization. The passion that the Board and staff carry to fulfill it's mission is admirable. I've had the pleasure to be involved with OCCHC for the last 17 years and I am very proud of everything they have accomplished. I'm lucky to be part of their Advisory Committee and I will continue to support OCCHC for many years to come. It is extremely touching to see how their labor impacts the lives of many families in need. Through their mission, OCCHC has been able to provide a safer environment to low income families and through their programs provide an opportunity for children to succeed in their education.

The programs available for students are priceless and are life changing as well. The best part is that the results speak for themselves and seeing the transformation of families and positive impact it has on the children is very rewarding.

Thank you to the donors and supporters that have supported OCCHC carry out is mission throughout the years. This would not be possible without your support. Orange County Community Housing Corp is an outstanding non profit that is making a significant difference in our community and I will encourage everyone to support this organization.

Sincerely,

Mayra Soto

Advisor

Rating: 5

OCCHC has provided safe, suitable affordable housing for low- and very low-income children and their parents for 40 years, plus programs for them to gain access to health education and a pathway to college for high school students. OCCHC continues to grow its operation, making it a point to hire from the community, support local school systems and moreover, maintain its own self-sufficiency. Why? Because its high performance team has a steeled dedication to serve vulnerable communities, and frankly, because its leadership team has a razor sharp focus on what matters most in lifting children out of poverty.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of serving on the board of directors for OCCHC for over 7 years. Without doubt every board member and employee is dedicated to our mission of transitioning extremely low income families towards greater self sufficiency by assisting them with housing and education. This is accomplished through the dedication and leadership of our executive director Nora Mendez and our deputy director Monica Cardenas. They and their dedicated and competent team work tirelessly to improve our communities by providing a safe and clean environment for our residents while assisting them and their families with educational assistince helping to break the cycle of poverty.

I couldn't be more proud of what Orange County Community Housing Corporation and their Stepping Up programs have done to improve our communities throughout Orange County. OCCHC is also a leader among many other non-profits offering assistance and resources that allow them to fulfill their missions as well.

Please consider supporting this incredibly successful organization in continuing their mission to meet the needs of our communities through housing and education.

Sincerely,

Jon Timmons

Advisor

Rating: 5

Success and OCCHC go hand-in-hand! Hundreds of high school seniors made college a reality thanks to the tireless efforts of OCCHC. Its staff is committed to each student they serve and for many of the students this may be their first experience of having a strong mentor show them support and encouragement and that anything is possible!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a higher education professional and on the advisory board. The amount of talent, passion and dedication of each and every staff member to the mission of Orange County Community Housing Corp. is exceptional. Serving the under served and providing housing options in Orange County motivates staff every day.

Stepping Up, the college awareness program is an important part of what this organization does to help children not just dream but plan and be prepared to go to college. Providing tutoring, financial aid counseling and road trips to visit colleges is just some of what this great organization is able to accomplish.

Funds are spent very wisely and invested in the programs that change lives. One of the best organizations I have been a part of over the years.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Orange County Community Housing Corporation is changing lives of families in Orange County not only by providing access to affordable housing, but by moving low-income families towards great self-sufficiency by assisting them with Housing and Education.

They are braking the cycle of poverty for these families through their SteppingUP program, which is a program that provides youth living in the affordable housing projects access to higher education.

Rossina Gallegos