Amor de Orange County

Ariel Meza of AMOR de Orange County

LOVE FOR YOUTH WORK SPARKS AMOR de ORANGE COUNTY

The lightbulb went on for Ariel Meza after 25 years of working with Hispanic youth.  Many of the teen’s issues stemmed from their home life.  What kind of impact could Meza have on youth if he focused some of his energies on their parents?

In 2004, Meza launched Amor de Orange County (AOC) to proactively improve the home life of Santa Ana-area teens by helping their parents’ marriages and relationships.
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Amor de Orange County’s efforts started with small, in-home classes called “Cafesitos.” Families and couples would attend together and talk about their relationships and ways it could improve. As the demand grew, the in-home classes expanded into large-scale relationship and marriage enrichment events for couples, families, and youth.  In the past two years AOC has served around 5,000 couples and 2,000 youth.

AOC teaches a number of courses but specializes in Dominando Los Misterios Del Amor (Mastering the Mysteries of Love) and Matrimonio De Clase Mundial (World Class Marriage). They are taught on weekends and four-week formats in various Orange County churches and the AOC headquarters. The classes are taught weekly and continuous offered.

Staying true to its roots, AOC regularly conducts youth events using the Love U2 program in youth programs and schools in the Santa Ana school district. They are offered in eight-week weekend sessions continuous throughout the year.

Ariel states, “People see immediate changes and improvements to their relationship. I think that’s one of the reasons we have had success.”

But Amor de Orange County is not doing this alone. They have helped create a collaboration of local pastors and community leaders, which “has proven to be successful in reaching out to mainstream and disenfranchised sectors of Orange County.” Seventh Day Adventist Church, First Baptist Church Santa Ana, The Catholic Dioceses of Stanton, Boys and Girl Scouts of America, Santa Ana school district, Community Day School, and Local community centers are just a few of Amor’s partnering organizations.

AOC serves 150 Hispanic couples a month and during the 2009 summer months, provided Relationship Education to over 800 Hispanic youth.

“I love working with families and teens and seeing the difference that support and skills, and friendship, mentoring can make in a life. The change over the years – that’s why I do it” says Ariel.

For more information, contact Amor de Orange County at AMORdeOC.org or 877.714.2667(AMOR)

RELATED ARTICLES:

>> At Risk Youth Benefit from Relationship Education

>> World Class Marriage – A Program for Couples Who Want More

>> Statewide Survey Reveals Hispanic Marriage Paradox: Want Marriage but Don’t Marry

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