2015 Walk the Talk Honorees
Just in Time for Foster Youth
For the Livingstons, generously sharing their own good fortune to make the world a better place for others has become a family tradition. However, what made them the perfect choice for recognition as Just in Time’s 2nd Annual Walk the Talk Honorees is the depth and variety of their contribution to foster youth.
Character, friendship and community have been the foundational qualities Ron and Sandy Livingston used to build their marriage, family and business over 60 years. After years of struggling to succeed and achieve their goals, they believed it only seemed right to give back. Ron and Sandy created a family foundation so that their children and their spouses, along with their five grandchildren, could each participate in researching and selecting causes that stirred their passions.
Through their daughter, Lori and her daughter Katie’s volunteer work with CASA of Orange County, Ron and Sandy said “it just didn’t sit well” with them when they learned that only 1-2% of foster youth go to college and, of those, only 10% graduate. For Ron, this presented a “whale of an opportunity” to change the outcome for a bunch of foster kids.
In 2007, the Livingston Family began building an organization called “Learning to Succeed,” for the sole purpose of helping foster youth succeed at college. As of this year, they have served 26 students, ranging from juniors in high school to college sophomores.
Meanwhile in San Diego, the Livingston’s son, Brad and his wife, Susanne, had built a premier community mortgage lending company, Residential Wholesale Mortgage, Inc. Carrying on the family tradition of giving back, they, along with daughters Kristen and Lauren, were actively involved in the work of the family foundation when they were introduced to Just in Time for Foster Youth. It was a perfect match as both focused on changing the life trajectory for young people leaving foster care. Coincidentally, Just in Time had begun the College Bound program at the same time that Learning to Succeed was founded.
After participating in College Bound and helping youth set up their first homes, Brad and Susanne recognized the synergy between their own family’s organization, CASA of OC, Voices for Children and Just in Time. They are now promoting a formal collaboration that will give even more youth access to the resources, tools and caring relationships that build character, friendship and community, critical ingredients for “learning to succeed.”
The Livingston Family’s energy, generosity and commitment to service are wonderful examples of the power of their multi-generational focus on the youth we serve. That is why we are pleased to share their story as the Just in Time 2015 Walk the Talk Honorees. The gala will be held at The Prado at Balboa Park, March 14, 2015.