Pictured are Cindy Tilley and David Tyler from the nonprofit Forgotten Angels. The organization recently purchased land in Valrico to house and care for teens who have aged out of the foster care system.

“It’s not a group home, it IS home,” explained Cindy Tilley, the president and founder of Forgotten Angels. Established in 2015, the nonprofit organization assists teens who have aged out of the foster care system. Tilley, who entered the foster care system in the fourth grade, personally understands the hardship and heartache of not having a home.

Recently, Forgotten Angels purchased 12 and a half acres off Little Stearns Rd. and is renovating the property to house and support these teens. From basic needs such as food and shelter to fulfilling high school education requirements and beyond, the organization comes alongside extended foster care teens from ages 18-21. Typically, these teens have spent most of their lives hopping from house to house with no family to call their own.

“Our goal is to get these teens out of survival mode and have them actually thrive,” said Tilley. “These teens are not getting the education or the life skills they need to get out there and succeed.”

She continued, “Many of the extended foster care group homes are located in rough areas, and these teens have no guidance. How can we expect them not to get into trouble? I lived this life and I know all about the dangers that are out there.”

Quinton Aaron, the actor who portrayed Big Mike in the movie The Blind Side, recently teamed up with Forgotten Angels and serves as the Ambassador of Goodwill for the organization. Aaron’s friend, David Tyler, who is the executive director for The Quinton Aaron Foundation, has also taken on the executive director role for Forgotten Angels.

With the help of the Quinton Aaron Foundation, local businesses, churches and other nonprofits, Forgotten Angels has been fixing up the dwellings on the property and have plans to build tiny homes.

Currently, six extended foster care teens reside on the property, and Tilley and Tyler are ensuring that these young adults are loved and cared for.

To find out how you can help, email forgottenangelsfl@outlook.com or call 728-0461. For more information or to view a video of the property, visit http://forgottenangelsflorida.org.