Three Graduates & One Proud Advocate!

Education Advocacy Program

The Foundation rolled out it’s Education Advocacy pilot at the start of the 2016-2017 school year. The Education Advocate serves as a critical support to youth in foster care. The advocate’s role includes, but is not limited to, helping to resolve education barriers, developing and monitoring a support system based on individualized needs, providing resources.  They also create an academic plan for graduation and monitoring school attendance, behavior, and performance.

As the Education Advocate, Ms. Lee Bennett visited the youth in the Education Advocacy program on a weekly basis during the 2016-2017 school year, as well as facilitated advocacy meetings with the school and other child welfare professionals involved.

Ms. Bennett felt incredibly privileged to see these Seniors graduate this year! Here’s a bit about them:

Ms. Bennett and Jiday at his graduation ceremony.


Jiday successfully received his high school diploma from Maynard Evans High School! Jiday is a respectful young man who is very athletic and loves playing basketball and football.

Prior to our Education Advocate meeting with Jiday, he had an idea of what he’d like to accomplish; however, he had no clear direction or available guidance.

During an event benefiting the Foundation, Ms. Bennett met a professional business owner who inquired about helping foster youth. He expressed an interest in not only mentoring but also providing an employment opportunity to teach a trade. He wanted to give a youth the tools for success. Following the event, Ms. Bennett connected Jiday with the owner.

Jiday is currently employed as an apprentice with the owner’s windows and doors company. He is enjoying learning this craft and is developing his professional skills. Jiday will soon be attending a local technical college with the intent of becoming a Certified Welder.

Our hats off to Jiday!

Ms. Bennett and Rachael at her graduation ceremony.


Rachael successfully received her high school diploma from Edgewater High School! Rachael is an enthusiastic young lady who is an avid beachgoer and is also active in Lacrosse.

Although Rachael encountered numerous challenges exiting foster care and transitioning into adulthood, she was thankful to have Ms. Bennett’s steadfast support.

Ms. Bennett provided Rachael with assistance by creating a workable plan to ensure that her long-term goals will be met with ease.

Rachael is presently employed as a restaurant hostess and will attend a local state college and thereafter transfer to the University of Central Florida with the intent of becoming an OB-GYN Physician.

Rachael is off to great places!

McKenzie all dressed up for her Senior Prom!


McKenzie successfully received her Diploma from Winter Park High School this year! McKenzie is a determined young lady who has a heart for children.

McKenzie overcame very difficult circumstances thanks to the education advocacy program that helped complete her high school requirements. McKenzie never gave up though! The advocate, Ms. Bennett, remained by her side and engaged in direct collaboration with both case management and her guidance counselor to ensure McKenzie’s graduation.

McKenzie will begin her college career by attending a local state college with the goal of completing her Bachelor of Arts in Child Development.

McKenzie is shining as bright as the sun!