Foster Progress celebrated their recent high school graduates with a Scholarships Awards Dinner in Chicago. It was a joy to be there to capture the relationships with mentors and youth and to see the graduates feel so celebrated as they shared from their experiences. Students also received awards and scholarship money to be used for the pursuit of higher education. They have overcome so much and accomplished so much it it deserves to be celebrated.
I adore partnering with this organization doing such good work to help the dream of college and higher education become a reality for youth from foster care. Foster Progress empowers Illinois youth currently or formerly in foster care to attain a college degree and transition into adulthood successfully by providing mentorship, advocacy, and educational opportunity. Foster Progress refuses to allow the current narrative and outcomes for youth in care to play out- they are a social disruptor that is already seeing individuals- mentors and youth in care- lives' changed. They are already seeing advocacy work pay off in new laws that are helping to disassemble the unfair and overly harsh guidelines for entering college change so youth in care can access education. It is always an honor to partner with them to share these stories that matter....
Program Manager Jasa basking in the success of the evening and the year
Founder Kate Danielson shares her "secrets of adulthood" including such treasures as "we're all just faking it" & "never be afraid to advocate for yourself and ask questions."
Each grad received awards & recognition for all they have overcome and all Foster Progress sees in them that will serve them well in college.
A recent grad shares her experience in the program and how her mentor helped her set goals & fight through when things got tough.
Mentor Jenn listening to her mentee share her experience in the Mentoring and Scholarship Program.
Mentor AnitaMarie getting some love from her mentee.
Mentor Kira with her mentee, Danielle. These two keep everyone laughing.
A recent grad with his proud foster Mom
Many of the Foster Progress students get talking to each other and find out they have lived with the same foster parents over their years in care. These two ended up living with the same foster mom, so now they're sisters! They can share their common history- not being alone in this journey makes huge difference for so many.