Mill Valley, California
Zara Babitzke is a Marin County visionary leader and entrepreneur of social change. She has led the way in spearheading awareness to end youth homelessness in Marin and statewide. Her work has played an instrumental role in the county and statewide movement to transform society by bringing awareness, education and key resources to teens and young adults ages 18 to 25 that are homeless without parents or resources.
Zara has received the Jefferson Award for Humanitarian Service, Hero of Marin Award and is a two-time nominee for the Heart of Marin Award. Currently, she has been nominated for the 2015 Marin Women’s Hall of Fame for her work with homeless youth.
The name, Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity informs the vision Zara had in founding AHO. She envisioned the entire community of Marin, individuals, (young and old), businesses, faith communities and organizations, as Ambassadors of Hope advocating for a healthy future for Marin’s homeless youth.
AHO provides a successful model that is changing lives and building youth leaders. AHO offers comprehensive resources and leadership opportunities that homeless youth typically do not receive. AHO’s work with youth is judgement free, designed for youth, by youth for the future of youth and thereby young people feel safe to reach out for help. AHO reaches homeless youth and offers a hand-up toward stability for the long-term with over 3,000 youth successfully served in 15 years. AHO is not government funded, and instead has galvanized the local community of businesses, professionals, faith communities, and organizations that help provide the personalized resources youth request. AHO offers a beacon of hope for youth in our community, but AHO’s work needs to be acknowledged and supported by the larger Marin community so all youth have a safe and secure home.
To learn more: contact Zara @ Ahoproject.org