By Karett Fussell, PIO
Ventura Youth Correctional Facility
Rosalinda Vint selflessly and tirelessly volunteers her time and energy at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF) and beyond.
She has a created the non-profit foundation, “Women of Substance Men of Honor” (WOSMOH) and teaches an Alpha Class at VYCF that focuses on youth leadership, integrity and achievement.
She also facilitates: Transitions, Healthy Lifestyles, Channel Islands Study Group and Women Breaking Barriers Group with the girls at VYCF.
Vint has provided shelter, food, clothing and funding to youth that have been discharged with donations from her non-profit organization and has funded many incentives within the institution. She has worked with VCYF staff to help find housing and resources in the community for youth lacking family support and has given gas cards to families experiencing financial difficulty so that they are able to visit and strengthen family ties.
Vint is on VYCF’s Gender Responsive Committee and she is also on the Citizens Advisory Committee, composed of a group of local citizens who volunteer their time tutoring youth and supporting rehabilitative endeavors centered around youth development including a $25,000 scholarship fund here at VYCF.
Through the Gender Responsive Committee she organizes the yearly Christmas Delight Family Reunification event for our female youth which is designed to facilitate reunification with family in order to maximize opportunities for successful re-integration of our population back into the community. Last year over 50 family members were in attendance.
Transitioning from a correctional setting back into the community is one of the most challenging times in a youth’s journey home. Transitional resources are key to ensuring youth continue to build on the progress they have made as they embark upon their new beginning in the community.
Vint has been and continues to be the thread of humanity that runs through VYCF – always there, always patient, always caring, always a beacon of hope to bridge and buffer gaps in resources.
Before the advent of the Integrated Behavioral Treatment Model and paradigm shift toward positive reinforcement and even after the transition from parole to county discharge, Vint has always maintained connectivity and provided opportunities for the youth population. Over the past 16 years, if a youth had difficulty in the community, he or she could rest assured knowing Vint was and still is someone they can call upon to help. Vint is the proverbial transitional object; she is the spirit of volunteerism, extending from VYCF into the community to provide emotional support, resources and reassurance.
Her ability to connect and engender trust with the youth population is nothing short of amazing. Many of the youth offenders come from disenfranchised backgrounds, have a history of neglect, substance abuse, sexual abuse, are involved in generational gang culture, have untreated trauma, academic hurdles and other challenges. As a result, some of the youth have problems with violence and aggression, struggle to modulate their emotional well-being and have significant difficulty trusting others.
Vint was a foster child and knows first-hand the challenges and hardship inherent in growing up in a system that can only strive to approximate the support, longevity and the reciprocity of a strong and healthy familial bond. Ms. Vint has triumphed over adversity in her own life, parlaying it into philanthropic excellence. She continues to be the omnipresent thread of humanity and continuity for VYCF. Her altruism, emotional intelligence and life-long dedication to working with and helping youth, serves as inspiration to youth and staff alike.
Youth offenders sound off on Vint
Lane said, “Roslinda is my role model because she is so dedicated to helping other people; strangers, felons. She sees the good in everybody, she’s selfless. She had struggles growing up, but that did not stop her from becoming the beautiful woman she is today. She is bold, she is brave. She is inspiration. One day I will be my own version of her.”
Kelly said, “Ms. Rosalinda Vint is an extremely nice person. She has donated to several events, reuniting the female youth with their family. I personally feel that she has reminded me that life isn’t always about our self. No matter what you have been through, you can be successful. During the groups we are taught how to build resumes, manage finance and become successful once released. I also believe she gives us everything. She has only to see us smile and with that I feel grateful.”
Fernando S. said, “Rosalinda Vint has given me resources such as individual identification, residential, educational vocational, social, correctional, personal and spiritual resources and she has been a mentor from WOSMOH. Attending Alpha Leadership Classes has helped me prepare for job and housing interviews for when I leave. The reason why she helps youth in any way she can is because she understands where we came from. Rosalinda was in the foster care as a child and I could relate to that because I myself have been in foster care too. So I recommend other youth seek her help.”
Daniel E. said, “I am attending Rosalinda’s Alpha Leadership program that has a lot of interrelated components such as being a leader, maturity, change and success. Through ‘check ins’ where you go up on front of the class and speak in front of your peers; I’ve become a better public speaker. I remember thinking after the first class thinking I hope we don’t have to do that again. Come to find out we had to do that every class. I rather enjoy pubic speaking now and I can do it with ease. Through her non-profit organization WOSMOH, she has helped incarcerated youth like myself for the past 16 years out the kindness of her heart. I have respect for her and what she does because I can relate to her background. She’s grown up in foster care, group homes and dysfunctional families such as myself. I was stressing upon re-entering society with no resources, but thanks to her program and resources, I’m confident I can become something more and better than my current self. I appreciate Mrs. Rosalinda Vint and everything she’s doing, I 100 percent support her. I am thankful God allowed me to meet her and hear her story.”