For Virginia Riggio-Babin, the act of giving, of making a difference in young lives, has come full circle.
Virginia has made it her mission to provide for people in need, and her dedication to Maryvale's children is no coincidence.
In 1969, 16-year-old Virginia was taken in as a resident at Maryvale, having run away from home because of a complicated relationship with her parents. She had lived with a friend's family for a time before they brought her to Maryvale.
That stay lasted for two years and helped turn her young life around. Virginia now seeks to do the same for others, and in 2016 she and her husband created the Riggio-Babin Scholarship to help fund college or vocational school tuition and fees for Maryvale residents and alumnae. Wanting to ensure this scholarship is available beyond their lifetime, Virginia and her husband have included Maryvale in their planned giving and have become members of the St. Louise de Marillac Society.
The motivation behind joining the St. Louise de Marillac Society and establishing the scholarship fund is both simple and sincere.
“My husband and I like to do things that directly impact our community,” Virginia explains.
The memories of her time spent at Maryvale are many, from the old plug-in telephone switchboard to the special trips the girls were given, including the times when “the nuns would haul all of us in buses and take us to the beach in the summer.”
She also remembers the grounds, especially the sense of peace they provided.
“I found security and structure for my life at Maryvale,” she said. With that came the support of a foster care community that included the other girls, the Sisters, and the Los Angeles Orphanage Guild – a family when she needed it most.
“It was a turning point for me. I felt like I was cared for, defended, and secure. I took that time and those experiences into my life going forward,” she said.
The St. Louise de Marillac Society and scholarship fund are two ways the Riggio-Babins intend to help other young lives go forward – with a sense of confidence, poise, and purpose.
“I decided to make a difference at the place that made a difference to me,” she said.
“I hope other people will join us in believing in and supporting children who need it most.”