Celebrating an organization’s birthday is a very special occasion. It’s even more special when the organization hits the big 5-0. Victor hit its big 5-0 this year- so this fall, everyone agency wide celebrated Victor's 50th birthday!
It’s incredible to think that for the past 50 years Victor has stood beside thousands of families, giving them hope that their children, as well as themselves, could succeed in life. All of this is possible because a 10-year-old turned his fear and pain into a mission that would inspire so many to either work with us or help volunteer.
As with any big celebration, you usually take time to reflect on how far you've come, so let’s take a trip down Victor’s memory lane!
The Why Behind Victor
Our 10-year-old was Dave Favor and it’s because of him that Victor is what it is today. He was taken away from his family home and placed into an orphanage where he felt alone, afraid and abandoned by everyone who cared about him. While some people would just grow up and struggle to get by, others decide to change their life to be something better. Dave landed in the latter category, but he also took it one step further. Through his experience, a mission was born to change the outcome for other children and their families, he had a belief that every individual should have the best chance possible for success. He later ended up turning his belief into a success by demonstrating that troubled kids can survive and thrive in a community setting modeled more on a family than an institution.
Victor’s Early Beginning
In the 1960’s, California had more then 3,800 children under the age of 18 who had severe mental and emotional problems and were being raised in state mental hospitals. At the time there was no other place for them to go. It was at this point that Dave Favor took his mission, along with his colleagues and searched for a better way. The concept of creating community-based residential settings just for kids, called Victor Treatment Centers, was born and spread all over California. In their mission to give every individual a chance to succeed they also eliminated the need for state hospitals for children.
Victor's Educational Discovery
Through taking care of the children and youth in the Victor Treatment Centers, the folks began to realize a common thread. In the centers the children and youth were able to learn basic living and behavior skills, but at school their severe behavioral and emotional needs prevented them from progressing in their academic learning. In learning that the public-school system wasn’t equipped to help this population of students learn, they established North Valley Schools. North Valley Schools gave students a safe environment where they could learn and be prepared to return to public school.
Victor's Fastest Growing Organization
While the treatment centers and schools continued, Victor knew that a next step was needed to continue to help kids, youth, and their families. They decided that it was time to build community programs to help further the opportunity for these kids and young adults become product members of society. Victor Community Support Services was born and, to this day, reaches out to children and young adults before they are in need of a residential program and seeks to help them and their families manage their challenges more effectively at home. It’s the fastest growing organization in Victor’s family of services.
Victor employs over 1,000 dedicated staff who are committed to the same values and ideals that were put in place by Dave Favor 50 years ago. Victor’s family of services reaches throughout California, helping literally thousands with their unique challenges every day and inspiring hope for the future. Victor continues to commit itself to seeking new and innovative ways to meet the needs of people they serve today and those in the future.
We want to thank you for helping Victor continue to touch the lives of children, youth, and their families all over California. We certainly couldn’t have gotten this far without your help. Thanks for celebrating this special occasion with us!
If you aren't one of our Victor Staff members and want to become part of what we do, click on the button below and see what's available!