Virtual Graduation Celebration for Florida’s Foster Care Youth
On Friday, June 19, Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) in collaboration with One Voice IMPAACT (OVI) and the Selfless Love Foundation (SLF) hosted a statewide Virtual Graduation for former foster youth.
The event highlighted more than 60 Florida graduates from high school, college, and technical/vocational schools and their success stories and included special appearances and virtual messages from several special guests, as well as some surprise celebrity spotlights of former foster youth.
“FCC was excited to make history hosting the first-ever Statewide Virtual Graduation celebrating foster youth alumni,” said Kurt Kelly, FCC CEO. “Florida’s foster youth work extremely hard to overcome challenges and obstacles every day, especially recent challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic. Our community of care felt it was important to come together to give them the recognition they deserve for all their many achievements.”
“We are so proud of these youth and their academic achievements! We were thrilled to be able to give them a platform to celebrate their graduation with friends, family, and supporters,” said Dr. Elizabeth Wynter, Selfless Love Foundation Executive Director.
Celebrity guests in attendance included John Paul DeJoria, former foster youth, American entrepreneur, best known as a co-founder of Paul Mitchell and The Patrón Spirits Company. The graduates also heard from leaders throughout the state, including FCC CEO Kurt Kelly, Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Chad Poppell, CEO of Family Support Services of North Florida Bob Miller, and Director Family Care Network Citrus Health, Esther Jacobo.
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About the Florida Coalition for Children
The mission of the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) is to advocate on behalf of Florida’s abused, abandoned, neglected, and at-risk children, and to support the agencies and individuals who work on their behalf. The vision of the Coalition is to see a system of child welfare in Florida that is fully resourced, well managed and fulfills the needs of our state’s vulnerable children. For more information visit FLChildren.org.
About One Voice IMPAACT
The mission of One Voice IMPAACT (OVI) is to provide innovative trainings and tools that will allow at-risk youth to discover & develop their talent, find their voice, and establish a network of support and resources. OVI is a branch of the Florida Coalition for Children Foundation’s (FCCF) youth outreach initiative. They have partnered with community members throughout the state of Florida to provide youth from the child welfare system access to free and reduced conferences, camps, trips, training, workshops, legislative events, and more.
About Selfless Love Foundation
Selfless Love Foundation (SLF) is dedicated to transforming the lives of current and former foster youth through awareness and strategic partnerships. SLF’s focus on collaboration in adoptions and independent living arenas has led to the development of a supportive housing program for transitioning youth, statewide implementation of an innovation adoption matching platform, and launching of the youth voice movement. For more information visit Selfelsslovefoundation.org.