FACES of Orange County 2017

No. 30 Building Future Leaders

Steve and Susie Segerstrom Perry of KIDWORKS

When Steve and Susie Segerstrom began volunteering at KidWorks 20 years ago, they had no idea where the journey would lead. A nonprofit with four local neighborhood centers in Santa Ana, KidWorks provides year-round educational support, health and fitness programs, and spiritual and leadership development activities for low-income children.

“When we got involved, a large part of our motivation was a desire to invest in our community. Although the Segerstrom family has invested generously in arts programs over the years, we saw an equally great need to invest in the development of children in Santa Ana, where Susie was raised,” says Steve.

KidWorks is a collaborative effort supported by church, civic and corporate organizations. Susie notes that the program is holistic, addressing not only education but also character development to help children become positive and productive members of society. Many graduates go on to university and come back to serve as community leaders and mentors.

Thanks in part to Steve and Susie’s support, KidWorks is undergoing a major expansion that will more than double it’s space. The additional square footage will feature four new learning labs, a multipurpose educational area, a fitness center and a learning garden. Although they’ve played an instrumental role, Steve and Susie say the “secret sauce” of KidWorks’ success has been the selfless service of numerous staff members and volunteers.

“These are the people who journey with the children from preschool through high school. They provide encouragement, instruction, and mentoring, as well as serving as role models for what a life of gratitude and service looks like.”

1902 W Chestnut Ave | Santa Ana, CA 92703 | (714) 834-9400 | KidWorksOC.org

Photograph by Jason Wallis Photography