Thursday, Jun 6, 2019
The school year has come to a close and summertime is already upon us. Every time I begin writing an update to you, I hope this will be the time that I can tell our friends we are finally starting to see the numbers of children in out of home care going in the opposite direction. Sadly, that isn’t the case. You may have seen a recent article in the Tampa Bay Times that notes a 33% net increase of children in care in Pinellas and Pasco Counties, and like me, wondered when the tide will ever stem. However, I am excited to share some bright news this month that keeps me inspired by the work our Volunteer Child Advocates are doing to serve children and teens. Hopefully you saw the updates on social media that we were able to award not one, but four scholarships this year thanks to the generosity of the Allshouse Family, Dr. Mary Lippitt, and Angels Against Abuse. When the committee began reviewing the applications, we were blown away by the resiliency and perseverance in our young adult’s stories. We made a few calls and with the help of generous partners were so glad to be able to help four young adults on their path to self-sufficiency and furthering their education. Special congratulations to our Allshouse recipients: Maggie, who will be studying deaf education at University of North Florida, and Miranda, who will be studying social work at St. Petersburg College. Our Lippitt Perseverance Scholarship recipients are: Carrie, who will be studying Vet Nursing at St. Petersburg College, and Robert, who will be studying Chemistry at Stanford University. If you haven’t seen Robert’s story on the news, it is pretty special and I know you feel inspired. His Volunteer Child Advocate, Gene Goldberg, has stood with Robert through thick and thin and we know there are countless other volunteers standing in the gap for our children every day. We thank each of you for your voice for the voiceless and for making a difference in our children’s lives when they need it most.
With much gratitude for all you do,