Five Questions for Vicente “Vince” Castro
The board chairman of Voices For Children Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children who rely on Miami's Guardian Ad Litem program.
Chairman of the Board for the Voices For Children Foundation, South Florida’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of neglected and abused children who benefit from and rely on the Guardian Ad Litem program in Miami-Dade County. Vicente “Vince” Castro serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Voices For Children Foundation, South Florida’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of neglected and abused children who benefit from and rely on the Guardian Ad Litem program in Miami-Dade County.
For years, Vince has championed the charity’s notable ‘Be A Voice’ gala, helping generate financial assistance to offer educational, health, emotional, and social assistance for children in need. He is personally responsible for leading a board of directors and 38 board members to ultimately provide the necessary assistance for at-risk children in the community.
On the heels of the 25th Annual ‘Be A Voice’ Gala – which took place on Jan. 15 at the Mandarin Oriental Miami and raised north of $700,000 – Social Miami sat down with Vince to learn more about his personal experience, inspirations and successful track record scaling Voices For Children to become the organization it is today.
What is Voices For Children’s mission and history?
Voices For Children was originally founded in 1984 by a group of local leaders who were touched by the needs of children who were taken from their biological homes. What first started as a small non-profit with a few grants, has developed into a $5 million organization that works with the Guardian ad Litem Program to represent children who end up in foster care. Today, Voices For Children works to help provide stability, safety, and a place to call home for at-risk children by providing resources to fulfill their needs.
What inspired you to join the Voices For Children team over 10 years ago?
As a parent, I know first-hand how it feels to want to love, support, and a sense of security for your child. When my first son was born 15 years ago, and then my second was brought into this world just one year later, it really made me realize how fortunate they were to have a loving family. Becoming a parent really put everything in perspective and showed me that there are so many children in Miami that don’t have parents or even a consistent mentor in their lives. The thought of growing up without knowing what it feels like to have a support system truly broke my heart. Not long after, I was approached by Nelson Hincapie, who began his tenure as the President & CEO of Voices for Children in 2009, and have been involved ever since. Keeping the organization moving forward in a positive way and raising every dollar for the most vulnerable kids in Miami – even in the midst of a 2 year pandemic – has become one of my greatest motivators.
Why is it important to raise awareness and funds for children in Miami-Dade County’s foster care system?
Oftentimes, children in the foster care system don’t have anyone to turn to and ultimately lose their sense of purpose in life. Many of these children lack basic resources, from food and clothing to shelter and transportation, making it virtually impossible to lead normal or positive lives. Through our programs, we are able to offer personalized attention and a commitment to making a difference, ultimately ensuring a brighter tomorrow. We advocate for their best interest in court proceedings and work to create the best possible outcomes for them.
What services does Voices For Children provide?
Through our annual events like the Be A Voice Gala, Be A Voice Luncheon, Party For A Cause, and Strike Out Child Abuse, Voices For Children raises funds and awareness for children in Miami-Dade County’s foster care system. Whether it’s training volunteers in the Guardian ad Litem program, providing hot meals, transportation resources for extracurricular activities, school supplies, toys for the holidays, and basic necessities, funds raised from our organization fuel the everyday needs of these incredibly brave children.
What was the main focus/goal for this year’s gala?
As always, the main focus for this year’s ‘Be A Voice’ Gala was to increase awareness for the organization and ultimately drive donations/raise funds so that we can continue to provide necessary programs to these inspiring and deserving children. These young adults rely heavily on the generosity of our donors and gala attendees each and every year, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how the event turned out.
Cristina Mas is the Owner and Founder of CIM Consulting, a company that allows her pursue a love for social entrepreneurship and positive growth. Today, she helps Miami’s top leaders and organizations to connect – across various platforms – and promote and grow their business in innovative ways each day. Mas has launched some of the city’s most innovative developments and impacting initiatives. Mas also continues to pursue her love for charitable activism. She sits on the Board of The Underline and is a Trustee for the Cuban American National Foundation and was most recently chosen as the youngest inductee into the Inner Circle of Twelve by the American Cancer Society and featured as a Miami Today Achiever. She attended Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart and graduated from Loyola University.