Angela Pasco: New hope, indeed
Angela Pasco, executive director of New Hope Village, was born and raised in Baltimore, Md.
Her parents divorced early and because of their drug and alcohol issues, she was raised in John Fredrick Weissner Foster Home for Children with her brother. Her sister stayed with their mom.
“Not much communication from my mom, but my dad was always there for us,” she said. “I entered the foster home when I was 4 and lived there for 10 years. It was a nice place to live and grow up. Unfortunately I started using drugs at the age of 12 and surrendered when I was 35 years old and that was by force. But I am forever grateful and have 12 years of sobriety by God's grace and mercy.”
Pasco did not graduate from high school dropped out when she was in the 10th grade, but when she was 24 obtained her GED. She graduated from Barstow College with an AS in Business in 2005 and is working on obtaining her Bachelor's Degree — one class at a time.
She gave birth to three daughters, two are in Heaven and Ashlee is 24.
Q: Why did you move to Barstow?
A: I came to Barstow for a six-week vacation to visit my Aunt on the Marine Base because my Uncle was TAD in West Virginia. So I left from Baltimore on a Trailways bus on Jan. 9, 1983 and arrived in Barstow on Jan. 11. I was 18 and bragged about going to California to see all the dudes on surfboards and chicks in bikinis (LOL), so I thought.
I landed in downtown Barstow at Winchell's Donuts waiting for my Aunt to pick me up. She was in Vegas picking up my sister (who flew in) while I trudged along in a bus for three nights and two days. I was doing word finds with my eyebrow pencil and needed a nickel for a pack of cigs. I met a man while at Winchell's who gave me a nickel to buy a pack of cigs and never thought he would end up being the future father of my children and my future husband. I have now been in Barstow for 29 years. My Aunt and Uncle left some 27 years ago and live in New York ... crazy, I know … they still can't believe I am still here.
Q: What is your passion?
A: My passion is helping those who are motivated to help themselves through hard work and determination. I work at New Hope Village/New Hope, Too! a transitional housing program with supportive services. I came through this program 12 years ago and it laid the foundation in my regaining and restarting my life over again.
Before coming to this program, I was homeless and in and out of jail due to my addictions. I had some good jobs and my latest was working for the County of San Bernardino as an Eligibility Worker and lost that job due to job abandonment. Who does that and loses a job from the County … I did!
My daughter lived with her dad and I am grateful for that. I graduated from this program in 2002, joined the Board of Directors and applied for the Executive Director position and was blessed on May 20, 2004 to be given a chance to give back and help those who want and need the help. Our motto is “A Hand Up Not A Hand Out.” Life takes hard work.
Q: Describe a special memory you have of Barstow.
A: Organization of the Year and Up and Coming Volunteer from the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce, Agency of the Year from High Desert Resource Network. Making A Difference Award from Soroptimist. (All the good stuff.)
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don't know about you.
A: I suffer from depression and anxiety, but stay active in my work and in my community. It is not a handicap to my life. I volunteer for many community events. I am a Soroptimist and a Barstow Women's Club member. I am a MAC and HDRN member. I participate in Relay for Life, March of Dimes, Sand Castle competitions, BCH Kids Care Fair, Huck Finn Jubilee. I just got married on May 12 after being engaged for 29 years and my dad flew in from Baltimore to walk his baby (lol) down the aisle!
Q: What are the top three issues facing the Barstow, and what's your take on them?
A: Affordable housing, jobs, and services. We need more of all of these. Barstow usually is left out and services leave us. It is hard to help those who need help when we have to travel to get what we need.
Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why? What would you ask them?
A: Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. He is whimsical and intriguing.
Q: Where do you get your values from?
A: I have learned values from life itself.
Q: What's your favorite movie and why?
A: “A Few Good Men…” It’s powerful and moving.
Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about Barstow.
A: Community spirit. We pull together in times of need. A little town with a big heart.
Q: What is the ultimate issue facing the United States, and what's your take on it?
A: Of course, our economy. What can I say? I know it's a problem, but I don't have a solution.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: People who work hard and who are grateful! Thank you is such a small word that means so much!
Q: What is your secret to living a happy, satisfying life?
A: Enjoy the small moments. Cherish the big moments!
Q: What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: Peace and quiet.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to say, anything you'd like to get off your chest?
A: There is so much to say and people who know me know that about me! But I have a great life and am raising five grandchildren (through marriage) and after 29 years of being off and on with my best friend, we married on May 12, 2012. Our daughter was our maid of honor and our oldest grandson was our best man….all eight grandchildren were in the wedding!
Q: How can readers get a hold of you?