“I would be sitting in a cellblock somewhere.”

Mike Ennis

“It was my home away from home,” says Mike as he reflected on the impact of San Diego Center for Children.

Mike Ennis, a business owner, husband and father, reflects on the impact of San Diego Center for Children.

When Mike Ennis was four, his father passed away. “That’s when things started to go downhill for me,” he recalls. Thanks to the generosity of strangers and friends, his mother was able to get enough money together to move with her son from New Jersey to California, and Mike became part of our Center family.

Mike remembers the cottage he lived in at the Center and his job collecting cans for recycling. He took field trips to the beach and learned some skills in the kitchen. For him, “San Diego Center for Children made an impact on my life. It was a home away from home.”

Changes in Mike’s family situation meant he had to leave the Center when he was eight. “After leaving, I had an extremely troubled childhood,” he acknowledges.

Mike was in a total of eight facilities during his troubled youth, and “San Diego Center for Children was by far the best facility I was in,” he told us recently. “If it wasn’t for the Center and other facilities afterwards, I honestly think I would be somewhere where I don’t want to be, sitting in a cellblock somewhere.”

Instead, Mike is a business owner, a volunteer fireman and EMT, and a husband and father. “I have a great life. Looking back, I wouldn’t take it back. But I’m thankful — I was one of the lucky few.”

We’re grateful to you, our supporters and partners, for making the work of the Center for Children possible today for more girls and boys like Mike who have so much potential, and so much promise for the future.