In families where young people are supported by stable surroundings and caring parents, graduating from high school is what is expected. But for a teen who may have spent the last few years in one or more foster homes – and who may be academically challenged and/or suffer the effects of trauma due to abuse or neglect, along with other obstacles such as emotional or mental health issues – the idea of graduating can seem like an impossible goal.
Luckily, Brevard has a comprehensive system of care that focuses on educational outcomes for children in out-of-home placements. It’s our goal to ensure that teens in care and those that age out of foster care have the resources to help them graduate or, if they are behind in their education and can’t graduate on time, achieve their GED.
This school year, eight students in foster care graduated from high school and received their diplomas. Another 10 who have recently aged out before graduation received their GED certificates! We are truly proud of these individuals who committed themselves to education, realizing that it plays a big role in a person’s future success. They weren’t dissuaded by the fact that they were in care or not in a traditional “family” setting. They set a goal and achieved it!
Not only did our youth attain their high school diplomas or GED, many others are now attending colleges, universities or vocational schools, taking their education to the next level and preparing themselves to live and thrive in the adult world. This year, two young adults attained their A.A. degrees and one earned a Patient Care Tech Certification.
We would like to thank our Brevard Public Schools foster youth Guidance Counselor, Michelle Bayer for her dedication to these youth who looked to her for advice and counsel as they navigated their high school years. We’d also like to thank our foster parents and relative/non-relative caregivers who encouraged the teens in their care to keep striving for excellence and set the cornerstone for a successful and prosperous adulthood.
And to our teens and young adults, we say, “Congratulations!”