Friendship Club

CNL strengthens and sustains local nonprofit organizations that enrich our community.

A Nonprofit Success Story: The Friendship Club

Michelle Schmidt never thought she’d live to see 17. Her parents divorced when she was in third grade. Three years later, her mother announced she didn’t want to be part of Michelle’s life any longer and simply left. Schmidt and her father then lived homeless and out of hotel rooms. Her situation seemed hopeless until her aunt intervened.

“By that time, I was severely depressed and failing all my classes. I didn’t care about anything,” Schmidt says. “I didn’t have the desire to live. I didn’t think anyone would care about me.”

Today Michelle is 24, a graduate of California Baptist University in Riverside and works for Boeing Co. She’s also attending graduate school at Chapman University in Southern California as a prelude to law school or doctoral studies. She credits all this to her aunt’s involvement and a special organization called the Friendship Club.

“They showed that they cared for me, that they were there to support me and wanted to work with me to help me get my life in order,” Schmidt says. “That just changed my world, and I realized the kind of person I wanted to be.”

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