"If I can help somebody along the way then my living will not be in vain."
Rubina Jones, 45, of Westbury, New York, is the CEO and Administrator of The Angelic Home Of Hope Foundation, which inspires girls to make positive decisions and accomplish their goals in life.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work did/do you do?
Rubina: Counsel and mentor girls ages eight to eighteen. We teach them to make positive decisions, and as a result, help them to accomplish goals in life. We build up their self-esteem and show them how to allow sleeping beauty to sleep, and to not have sex until the proper time.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Rubina: The Angelic Home Of Hope Foundation in Westbury, New York.
Tell us about the project, especially who benefits from this work.
Rubina: We do monthly mentor classes with girls. We also take the girls on annual retreats where they have sessions to get know who they are.
What inspired you to get involved?
Rubina: Back in 1999 this foundation was inspired by a young girl who I took into my home. She was on the verge of becoming a statistic. She had no respect for herself, and low self-esteem with no one to show her a way out. Today this same young girl is a business school graduate. She is working in the finance department of a private school and is one of the administrators of this foundation. She is now a testimony for all the other girls who have and will become a part of the Angelic Home of Hope.
How did you first get involved? Give us some details.
Rubina: After my experience with the young girl, I decided to start this foundation by doing a retreat called "Let Sleeping Beauty Sleep." I got pregnant at the age of sixteen, and never saw a doctor until the day I delivered. I promised myself that I would never turn my back on anyone who is going through the same thing. Everyone deserves a second chance.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Rubina: To touch a life and inspire girls to be all that they can be. When they come back to say thank you for all we do for them, it's the best reward I can ask for. My motto is, "If I can help somebody along the way then my living will not be in vain.
What is/was the hardest part?
Rubina: The hardest part is not knowing if you are reaching them. We know that peer pressure is so strong and it is so hard for the girls at times. I feel like we are on an assignment to be a haven of hope for them.
What was the biggest surprise?
Rubina: The biggest surprise is to see how many girls want to become a part of The Angelic Home Of Hope Foundation. For me, it is so rewarding every time we send a packet out to a new Angel.
What new things have you learned as a result of your experience and how have you changed as a result?
Rubina: The girls that come through AHOH have allowed me to become more passionate. Sometimes we do not realize how blessed we are until you meet someone who does not know what real love is about.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Rubina: It is the most rewarding choice you could ever decide to make. To see a life changed, or a smile from someone who did not know how to smile makes you feel like a million dollars.
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