2018 - PYCBO Joe Baldo
Joe Baldo Higher Ground Youth and Family Services

"During his time as a volunteer, the harsh reality these teens faced was immediately clear."

Joe Baldo had a highly successful career in corporate communications, but felt called to do something more, something that would help his community.

After careful deliberation, Joe decided to volunteer at juvenile hall in Orange. This changed everything. During his time as a volunteer, the harsh reality these teens faced was immediately clear. He listened as they shared stories of abuse and neglect. He supported and encouraged them as they faced life in a system that didn’t have the programs and support systems they needed so desperately. He prayed and asked for guidance about how he could be the change agent that would help these teens find purpose and possibility for their lives.

In 2012, Joe founded Higher Ground Youth & Family Services, a non profit that provides mentoring to youth and families at-risk youth in Orange County. Higher Ground is proactively working to keep kids out of juvenile hall by providing programs and services, support systems and a safe environment to help them make positive life choices.

From youth sports to theatre to nutrition to general enrichment, Joe and Higher Ground serve as a strong and reliable foundation upon which youth can build a healthy and thriving future.

Farmers & Merchants Bank has been proudly doing business with Joe Baldo for 1 year.