The Giving Season

Ballet Etudes has two missions: Our first is to provide youth dancers an opportunity to perform in dance. Our annual Nutcracker is local to Huntington Beach, and provides those dancers the opportunity to grow their character through the discipline and beauty of dance. Our second mission, and this story, is related to our other mission …

Read More

Mommy, I’m walking!

“Mommy, I’m walking!” Those were the excited and proud words spoken by Colette when she took her first steps with a walker last summer. Three years earlier, Colette was a cheerful, smiling 8 ½-month-old baby who was able to stand up holding onto a table with one hand and progressing in her development as any …

Read More

The Journey of a Super Hero

Excited to ride his horse, “Tess,” Cade eagerly hops out of the family car as it arrives at The Shea Center for Therapeutic Riding. He runs ahead to the arena where the saddled horse is ready for the young rider. Cade, at 14 years old, has been a Shea Center client for nine years. During …

Read More

Labor Day

This one-hour celebration has got to be by far the toughest wedding I’ve ever had the honor of documenting. This wedding is not just another number for me, but a new standard for my life. At 2:45 p.m. on Labor Day, I got a message from a close friend about a 19-year-old bride who has …

Read More

Meet Trinity and hear her family’s story

“In the summer of 2018, a small mass on Trinity’s neck was being treated as an ear infection that had drained into her lymph node. After back to back rounds of antibiotics, the mass on her neck had grown to the size of a baseball. A CT scan confirmed a solid mass tumor. “Your child …

Read More

Meet Kayden. He’s a true superhero

Meet Kayden. He’s a true superhero. He’s a little shy sometimes, but always playful and charming. He has a huge smile, big brown eyes and long lashes. Kayden also has cancer. Kayden is the youngest of seven kids – a big, beautiful family. He loves his Transformers and the Incredibles, but to Kayden, his parents …

Read More

Starting in August of this year, SLDC has launched our Adult Life Skills Academy for adults aged 22-40 years old

Starting in August of this year, SLDC has launched our Adult Life Skills Academy for adults aged 22-40 years old. We wanted to make a difference for adults with disabilities and we heard from the parents of our graduates over and over, “What now?” and “There are no programs available for my child.” In building …

Read More

She’s a sweet mama’s girl with the spirit of a warrior

Let me introduce you to Gabriella She’s a sweet mama’s girl with the spirit of a warrior. When at just 18-months old, little Gabriella first became sick, the pediatricians thought it was just a bug. But, Mama knew deep down in her heart that something was wrong. After multiple visits to the doctor, the devastating …

Read More

My first day at Mardan, I remember literally crying on my way there, wanting to go anywhere else.

Mardan School is a small non-profit, state-certified school for children Kindergarten through 12th grade struggling with mild to moderate social-emotional, learning, and/or behavioral challenges. At Mardan School, our structured and supported environment allows children who have had difficulties in other school settings learn the tools and strategies that will help them experience success. What constitutes …

Read More

Meet Sierra. She’s been a student at Speech & Language Development Center since 2013

Sierra has been a student at SLDC since 2013. She is currently in our High School program. Sierra was diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome at birth. CHARGE is an extremely complex syndrome. Sierra spent the first 5 months of her life in the NICU where she underwent 2 open heart surgeries. Sierra has hearing and vision …

Read More