Featured Person: Steve Hogan
Hi all. Time to feature another one of our amazing Aura’s House friends and Children International super donors.
Who are you? Where are you from? What are your interests?
I am Steve Hogan. I hail from Phoenix, Arizona. My family moved to Southern California when I was 6-years-old, and my three siblings and I grew up in Tustin.
After five grueling years of studying mechanical engineering, I got my bachelor’s degree at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. After a two-year stint at a small start-up, I joined the Navy with the goal of becoming America’s next Top Gun.
Although I graduated from Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) as an ensign, my flying career was very short-lived, as I was blacking out while performing high-g maneuvers. I returned to the engineering profession after washing out of basic flight school, where I’ve been ever since. My interests include reading, writing, going for long walks, and photography.
How did you hear about Aura’s House and what made you want to get involved with us?
I think it developed as a result of online discussions with other sponsors as part of the Google Groups forum (the precursor to LiftOne and now My Social Center). An Aura’s House member asked me to contribute to a fundraiser they were having, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What’s the best experience you’ve had as a sponsor of children? How has it changed your life for the better?
That’s a hard question, because I’ve had so many enriching experiences with Children International. Being the sponsor of (currently) 27 girls in 7 countries makes for a lot of fond memories. Generally speaking, the most satisfying aspect of sponsorship for me is definitely the sponsor visits. Sending and receiving letters and pictures is wonderful, of course, but meeting your sponsored child in person is something special.
If I had to pick out one experience, it would be helping to fund the home upgrades for two of my children. Evelyn and her family in Cartagena, Colombia, and Araceli and her family in Vina del Mar, Chile, both lived in very precarious structures that were not fit for human habitation. With the help of other sponsors, we were able to purchase materials and labor to substantially improve their homes. Of course, the sponsorship program allowed me to fund countless income generating projects (IGPs) and special needs gifts (SNGs) over the years, including orthodontics for crooked teeth, English lessons, the purchase of groceries, shoes, backpacks, etc.
Anything else you’d like to share with the Aura’s House community?
I would encourage any sponsor who has the means to travel to your child’s home and spend the day with him or her. It is a life-altering event and well worth the time and expense. The memories are lasting, and the experience will give you an appreciation for how lucky we are. Seeing the poverty first hand is eye opening. Equally memorable is how the families seem to overcome their predicament with a positive outlook and a ready smile. It puts things in proper perspective!