By Robyne Wood, Director and Founder of ROBYNE’S NEST
As a young teen, I grew up in an extremely toxic and dysfunctional home with little to no parental or family support. To escape that unhealthy environment, I left home when I was 17 and finished high school on my own by working full-time and attending night classes.
After graduation, I attended the local community college while working full-time in operational positions. My education, combined with working in the real world, changed my life and gave me a chance to grow into the adult I wanted to become: a successful businesswoman, wife and mother who is happily involved in her community.
Years ago as a parent of school-aged children, I became involved in PTSA where it became clear there was an issue with homeless high school students living within our Huntington Beach community in unsupportive and unhealthy environments. This stirred my empathy for our local at-risk teens and ignited my passion for helping them.
“My expertise comes from personal experience. Every step is a success. Each day new habits overtake old habits is a success.”– Robyne Wood
Robyne’s Nest was created, out of love and empathy, to help and guide these at-risk and homeless high school students (who are alcohol and drug-free) in that critical window of time between youth and adulthood. We created a program that I would have loved to have had when I was a teen. Our Standard (Student Care) Program Support Services include housing, mental health therapy, life skills education, career mentoring and personal coaching with our trained volunteers. We provide clothing and food assistance, educational support, transportation and legal support. Combined with our one-on-one wrap around services, we try to give our students all that is necessary to help them become independent, self-sufficient, and aware young adults. We drive students to doctor’s appointments, help them apply for Medi-Cal, teach them how to drive, help them apply for birth certificates and Social Security Cards, advocate for them at school, help them fill out FAFSA forms for colleges, help them shop for prom dresses and suits, teach them how to do their taxes, nurse them back to health when they’ve suffered some kind of medical situation…and the list goes on.
High school graduation is our first goal because it gives our students a better chance to break those cycles of homelessness, abuse, addiction and more. A high school diploma is fundamental to long-term life opportunities, stability and self-sufficiency.
We are proud to say that during the 2021-2022 school year, we provided (21,989) meals to the Robyne’s Nest students and “food insecure” high school students in HBUHSD, (873) hours of mental health therapy and (2,136) nights of safe housing to the students enrolled in our program.
Since 2015, the inception of our program, 159 Robyne’s Nest Students have graduated from high school.
Through individualized attention to each student, we have purposefully kept our focus on local high schools to ensure that we can give each student the quality care they deserve. We meet our students at school generally during lunch or after school, so as not to interrupt their classes. We seek to understand and treat the underlying issues that drive low self-esteem, lack of emotional intelligence, moodiness and other mental health factors that lead to homelessness and dropping out of school.