“We live in a world in we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
Chair of the Board of Directors Meegan Dugan Basset opened the Foster Progress Horizon Benefit on Saturday with this quote & it proved to be true over and over again as the night went one and we heard stories from youth in care (or formerly in care), mentors, foster parents, & those working to advocate on behalf of youth in foster care. The youth and leaders are heroes not because they are extraordinary but because they CHOSE to see kids in care as OUR KIDS. This way of seeing who is our community changes us & allows us to act!
Within a few short years Foster Progress has seen tremendous growth and impact. They value voices of youth in care and in addition to providing educational opportunities and mentor-ship they have advocated for changes to reduce the burden for youth in care to have access to a college education!
I have partnered with Foster Progress over the last few years to capture the mentors and youth. As a foster parent myself (you can read more about our journey here and here and here and here and here) these issues are deeply felt by me and are so central to how I feel we are as a society are meant to love. If we do not care for the children among us that are the most vulnerable we fail. PERIOD. Foster Progress is allowing us ALL to care and show up.
Saturday night at their Horizon Benefit we heard stories of the good work Foster Progress is doing to advocate & provide mentoring and educational opportunities for youth in foster care, we listened, learned, & had a blast together- because as Kate Danielson, the Executive Director of Foster Progress said, "ain't no party like a Foster Progress party!"
During the evening their elevated voices of youth in care and allowed them in their own words to share the difference Foster Progress has made in their lives like allowing them to finish high school in the same school, have a mentor that has been key in helping them get financial aid for school, and even funding one amazing young woman's opportunity to study abroad in Tanzania!
Awards were presented to generous donors and those who have worked to change legislation that continues to place unfair barriers to young people in care applying and succeeding in college. My husband formally joined the board of directors and we can not think of a better way to have spent a Saturday & our time in the future!
A dance party & karaoke ended the night and overall the benefit raised over $55,000 towards the work of Foster Progress!
A few personal images from the night & my daughter and I showing our Foster Progress love..... crazy dancing ones photo credit Frank Gill - so great to work & party with you!