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From Camping to Commencement


From the initial interview process and background check we do for every man, woman and child that come to the Orange County Rescue Mission, our hope is always to discover the highest potential in each individual. Despite the past, we strive to see the best in everyone.

Gary Carter is one of those extraordinary individuals that with a simple hand-up out of his humbling circumstances, has flourished and excelled into places of success and positions of influence.

Carter Family
Gary and his daughters at their graduation from the Orange County Rescue Mission.

Initially arriving at the mission after a two-year stint of homelessness, its was clear that Gary was sharp and motivated to turn his life around. Proving to be an exceptional father to his two daughters, Gary was granted their custody and worked through his program at the Village of Hope in addition to enrolling as a full time student.

Both of Gary’s girls mirror his drive and work ethic while excelling in school, music and other extracurricular activities. Gary was often known to pull all-nighters while finishing up his school work after his job responsibilities, program requirements and father duties to his girls.

Gary Carter
Gary and his girls, not long after they first came to the Orange County Rescue Mission.

I am so thrilled to celebrate with Gary in his completion as the Village of Hope Spring Class of 2014 valedictorian, but most importantly his commencement in achieving his Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science from Concordia University.

Concordia University has been an instrumental partner to the Rescue Mission for several years. From our after-school tutoring program, to summer science camps and the dedicated involvement of Concordia staff and students, it is one more blessing to be able to see some of our Rescue Mission student-residents also receive their higher education and training from this outstanding institution.

Gary is an exceptional man and I am pleased to see his hard work rewarded with his accomplishments. I hope and pray for further success as God uses his story of struggle and triumph to help others know and believe that it is never too late to turn your life around.

So proud of you, Gary! Congratulations on all your accomplishments!


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