Founded in 2003 by Lesia S. Cartelli
Angel Faces was created to transform the lives of adolescent girls with severe, permanent scars and disfigurements from burn injuries and traumatic events.
The intensive residential retreat was founded by Lesia S. Cartelli, who endured a severe burn injuring and subsequent scarring in a natural gas explosion as a child in 1969. As an adult she recognized the psychosocial needs of adolescent girls with disfigurement as they navigate the challenges of adolescence, rejection and ultimately acceptance. Lesia has also personally experienced the challenges of maturing as an adolescent and professionally witnessed, as an adult, the struggle girls (and now young women) have with social interactions, making friends and simply "fitting in" that plague adolescent girls who live with disfigurement.
In Cartelli's experience, (as the founder of a burn camp she developed in San Diego), she became aware of the need and inspiration for something more than a burn camp.
Angel Faces was launched.
The retreat began in 2003 as a three day/two-night retreat in Julian, California. The site was affected by wildfires of 2003; forcing a new retreat location at the base of the San Joaquin Mountains, Corona, CA. In 2011, Angel Faces launched its first Level II program for young women ages 19 - 29. Currently Level II retreats focus on mentorship, leadership, goal setting and resilience.
In 2013, Angel Faces was invited to the east coast of America, landing in a sacred location of Wolfeboro, NH, where they partner with Prep school, Brewster Academy, while daily programs are held on private lakeside grounds.
Over the past sixteen years, this small but mighty nonprofit has reached hundreds and thus thousands of trauma patients through the ripple effect. Angel Faces has received many prestigious awards for this innovative and educational program including our research.