About Us


To deliver innovative care, support, treatment and education to vulnerable youth so that they heal, believe in their worth, and build the skills needed to succeed.


To ensure that vulnerable youth and families are supported, prepared and equipped to achieve lifelong success.

A History of Providing Healing and Inspiration

Vista Maria was founded as an orphanage in 1883 by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. The Sisters’ legacy of rescuing and restoring women and children provides the foundation for the agency’s mission today: to deliver innovative care, support, treatment and education so that vulnerable youth heal, believe in their worth and build the skills needed to succeed.

Filled with compassion and a sense of responsibility to care for women and girls who were homeless, or caught in abusive, destructive and dangerous situations, the Sisters devoted their lives to helping women and girls regain their self-worth, dignity and become self-sufficient—in much the same way as Vista Maria does today.

Over the years, the agency continued to grow to meet the ever-changing needs of children and their families from our communities. Today, the agency offers an array of community-based programs that include: education through two on-campus charter schools; general and treatment foster care; youth assistance programming; independent living; transition services; and after-school programming.

With a strong foundation and core values firmly in place, the Sisters’ mission of caring for the whole person—physically, emotionally and spiritually—will continue to guide the agency’s efforts to help our vulnerable children and families end the multi-generational cycle of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency.

Core Values


I will hold a deeper vision.

Individual Worth.

I will respect the intrinsic value of each person.


I will work to forgive others and restore harmony.

Mercy & Compassion.

I will extend the mercy that invites another into healing of spirit.

Philosophy of Care

Vista Maria’s philosophy of care provides a framework of guiding principles that reflects our mission, values and competencies. The philosophy defines and directs our employees to provide services and care in the best interest of the children and families that we serve.

Our Philosophy of Care is defined in an easy to remember format that guides, unites and aligns our behaviors and actions to fulfill our mission, values and competencies.

  • VALUES MATTER – our values unite us in action to deliver quality care, support and treatment for our youth, families and each other.
  • FAMILIES UNITED – we unconditionally accept and believe in the power of families and communities.
  • EDUCATION IS POWER – education creates opportunities, builds partnerships and empowers everyone.
  • COMPASSION FOR ONE ANOTHER – true healing comes from the collective actions and efforts of each of us caring for one another and those that we serve.