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Yolanda Valencia: A Voice for Children in Need

Voices For Children Foundation, Inc. Board Member Yolanda Valencia firmly believes that "everyone can do philanthropy."

Yolanda Valencia

Before joining the Voices For Children (VFC) Board in 2017, Yolanda became an advocate for children experiencing foster care. After leaving her job with the Miami Dolphins- where she was head of HR- the first call she made was to the Guardian ad Litem Office (GALO). She was certified as a Guardian ad Litem in 2014.

"I think a lot of people want to be involved but don't know how to get started; they think you have to know someone or be someone special. Everyone is special. Everyone can do philanthropy," Yolanda says.

Guardians ad Litem represent the best interests of children in the foster care system through a multidisciplinary team model that includes an advocate (a volunteer or staff), a supervisor, and an office attorney. VFC works collaboratively with the 11th Judicial Circuit GALO, funding over 55% of their staff. This critical funding ensures that every child who enters the system has access to quality representation. There are currently over 1600 children in foster care throughout Miami-Dade County. Despite not experiencing foster care firsthand, Yolanda's understanding of a less-than-perfect childhood fueled her dedication to help children in the system.

"The life of a child in foster care is filled with a lot of fear and, unfortunately, shame as they blame themselves for things that are out of their control," she says.

Yolanda and German Valencia

The VFC Board is comprised of community-focused individuals, like Yolanda, who share the same vision: that support for children should not be a privilege. Yolanda believes that the most significant contribution any board member can make to children in care is being as involved as possible. She recommends anyone wanting to make a difference "join committees, get involved with directly helping a child by becoming a Guardian ad Litem, and go to the events!"

During her tenure on the VFC Board, Yolanda served as a gala chair alongside her husband German for the Be A Voice Gala for two consecutive years, in 2022 and 2023. In 2023, for the first time in gala history, Voices For Children broke the million-dollar mark, something Yolanda considers a highlight of her Board experience. She notes that it took the hard work of the entire Voices board and staff.

Professionally, Yolanda received an MBA and is a lifelong HR professional. She worked with the Miami Dolphins for 14 years and now manages HR and corporate philanthropy at Galleria Farms, her family business leading the fresh-cut flower industry. To Yolanda, flowers aren't just beautiful - they're memory makers, fostering connection in celebration and solace. Through Galleria Farms, Yolanda has been able to help other organizations, including the Red Cross and St. Jude, with in-kind donations for special events.

Yolanda enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandkids.

Learn more about getting involved with Voices For Children or the Guardian ad Litem Office.

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Lend Your Voice

You can lend your voice by donating, volunteering for our Guardians Ad Litem program, or starting a conversation in your community. We always need volunteers and donations - whatever you can do helps.

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