I am really looking forward to tomorrow night when we celebrate the high school graduation of 35 students in our care. These foster youth have overcome great obstacles to reach academic sucess and throwing them a well-deserved party is always one of the highlights of my year.
For many, the Celebration of Dreams ceremony is the only non-school recognition they receive of their achievement. They get to dress up, hear an inspirational speaker, enjoy a nice meal and spend time with people whom have helped them along the way. We will recognize them with certificates of achievement, a video that they star in and gift certificates to help them transition to independence.
I am especially looking forward to this year’s speaker, Adrian McLemore. He is a former foster youth himself, and is now caring for his nieces and nephews in order to keep them out of foster care. He has a remarkable story. You can read more about him here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/18/adrian-mclemore-veteran-o_n_879722.html
To learn more about the Celebration of Dreams itself, here is a press release: https://www.hcjfs.org/Buttons/Media/Pressreleases/2012/June/Press%20release_%20Celebration%20of%20Dreams%202012.pdf