Work Study Programs – Meet Wilberto


Wilberto  has lived with us at Advocates of Love for many years. When he turned 17, in the Dominican Republic he was considered an adult and expected to leave our children’s home. 

The children who leave our care often return to their family homes to live, but these are the same homes they left to come to us for a better life. These homes are sometimes dangerous and dysfunctional or the child’s family may be living in terrible poverty, which is only made worse by having another mouth to feed. 

At Advocates of Love, we work hard to thoughtfully transition children like Wilberto  who have to leave our care. We work with CONANI, Children and Adolescents National Council and Child Protective Services, to find family members who will make sure the child is safe and looked after. We have also created a Work Study program to keep vulnerable children like Wilberto with us as long as possible. 

Advocates of Love’s Work Study program is similar to Work Study programs in college. In colleges, students work on campus in return for help with college costs. At Advocates of Love, children like Wilberto, who would otherwise leave our care, work in return for remaining in residence with us. They also receive a personal stipend to help with personal expenses. 

We were able to find a suitable Work Study position for Wilberto, who is now our Missionary Quarters manager. This means he can stay safely in our care while building important work experience that will help him later in life. 

How You Can Help

Advocates of Love was founded in 2013 to help children escape dangerous and unhealthy living conditions. 

Even small donations can change children’s lives. Sponsors keep in touch with their children and see the difference their donations make.  

Learn more about Advocates of Love by visiting our website 

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Melissa Schol

Melissa is originally from Ocala, FL and after moving around Florida, Georgia & North Carolina, she has settled back in Ocala. Melissa went to the College of Central Florida and has pursued a life of service in various administrative, customer service and marketing roles. She has now settled into her dream role as the Communications Director for Advocates of Love.

Melissa was on the state board of the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent Association while serving 4 years as a foster and then adoptive mom. She has two adopted daughters, Kenzi and Shyne, who keep her busy. Melissa also serves in her local church. 

You can reach Melissa via email: