BCFS Hill Country Resource Center: Where Collaboration Meets Compassion

bcfs-hill-country-resource-center

For someone who needs help in the Texas Hill Country – whether it’s counseling, crisis intervention, or education and employment assistance – traveling to multiple nonprofit offices around town to meet basic needs can be difficult, especially without transportation or the flexibility to miss work.

That’s why BCFS gathered local nonprofits under one roof at the BCFS Hill Country Resource Center Model is an innovative way to connect several nonprofit organizations and maximize their combined talents and resources. For the community, this means that those who are struggling have easy convenient access to a wide array of programs, services, and resources in one central location.

Services Available:

  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Emergency shelter placement
  • Literacy programs and educational support
  • Job training and job placement
  • Parenting support groups
  • Help for military veterans
  • Creative art therapy
  • Computer lab access
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Celebrating The Summer Success at BCFS Tyler, Texas

BCFS is proud to have such incredible individuals across all our centers and services. At our Tyler, Texas center, our BCFS team serves youth who have been in foster care, as well as individuals struggling with difficult issues ranging from homelessness to substance abuse to unstable homes.

In the past year, our Tyler team provided 8,100 hours of life skills training and served more than 600 youths through critical programs and services that work toward instilling self-confidence and self-sufficiency. Going even further, $200,000 in Education and Training Voucher funds were given to 50 youth pursuing post-secondary educations.

No Slow Summer

May started off with a celebration of 30 foster care youth from the area receiving their hard-earned high school diplomas! With representatives from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services on hand to present the students their certificates, the newly minted graduates enjoyed dinner at the Lago del Pino Restaurant with their guests. Additionally, BCFS proudly presented a new luggage set to each graduate to prepare them to move on to bigger and better things, like college, new apartments and jobs. Congratulations class of 2015!

Summer’s highlights kept coming with July’s Independence Day Youth Conference. The annual conference’s focus is to equip youth with the necessary skills to transition from foster care to “life on their own.” This year’s workshop, “War of the Roses: Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Relationships,” focused on healthy relationships as well as financial planning, independent living, foster youth rights and human trafficking.

With summer winding down, Tyler kept the productivity at a maximum when BCFS took 90 youth on a Back-To-School Bash at Kemah Boardwalk. These students earned their day of fun by staying in school, maintaining high grades, and participating in BCFS programs, workshops and events. The annual event was a blast just like our previous trips!

Youth Spotlight

All of the youth at BCFS deserve the spotlight, but Shelby Bradford is an extra special individual. Shelby faced extreme hardships as she overcame abuse from sex traffickers at a young age. Once in foster care, she faced further abuse–leading to her removal from the home at 17.

Despite the odds, Shelby held on to hope and optimism. That drive led her to BCFS’ Tyler center where she began working with exceptional individuals like Lesley Beasley. She began living with a loving foster family and focused on furthering her schooling. BCFS was proud to help Shelby obtain financial aid–in addition to the many scholarships she had earned–so she could pursue a degree in psychology at Sam Houston State University.

With her “don’t take things for granted” mantra as an example to us all, BCFS continues cheer on Shelby and all our youth as they strive for personal greatness.

If you’d like to get involved in BCFS, please visit DiscoverBCFS.net or call 1(800) 830-2246.

Celebrating the Recent Success at BCFS Corpus Christi

BCFS is proud to have such incredible individuals across our non-profit system. We’ve had a ton to celebrate recently at our center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

In February, BCFS Health and Human Services named Victoria Perez as our new center director. Victoria has more than 20 years of managerial experience in the health and human services. In her new role, she’ll be responsible for overseeing critical services and programs that help youth in foster care and those aging out land on their feet.

While our staff are pretty incredible, the spotlight really belongs on the amazing youth and young adults we serve…

Like Mark Trotter, who spent 14 years in the foster care system–never staying in a place long enough he could call “home.” Mark battled homelessness in high school for two years;  but with BCFS in his corner, he overcame the odds. So much so that Mark is now enrolled for classes at the University of Texas-Corpus Christi! Now, BCFS and Mark have their sights set on his future and a career after school. When asked about BCFS, Mark speaks fondly of our Corpus Christi center saying, “BCFS has been like a guardian angel. They think of things that I couldn’t think of myself..and they help me be the best I can be.”

Similarly, Zoiyee Green also overcame struggles with homelessness and as an 18 year old mother before relocating to Corpus Christi. Once at her new local center, Zoiyee joined BCFS Health and Human Services’ Preparation for Adult Living program. From there, BCFS provided Zoiyee with case management and helped her land a job where she could support herself and her little one. Like Mark, Zoiyee will enroll at the University of Texas at Austin as she pursues her law degree.

Both Mark and Zoiyee’s efforts were recently recognized by Foster Angels of South Texas (FAST) at the 14th annual Appreciation Luncheon. We couldn’t be prouder of both of them!

The same can be said for Samuel Gomez. After his parents were unable to keep 15 year old Samuel at home, he moved in with the Cerdas family. By the time his family could stabilize their home, Samuel had aged out of foster care. While working with BCFS, Samuel worked with caseworker Alma Gutierrez to secure an internship at the Tejano Civil Rights Museum. Now four years later, Samuel is proud to join a group that only 2 percent of foster care recipients can say they are part of: he’ll graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville!

In addition to his scholastic prowess, Samuel is an example of giving back. In college, Samuel also earned his respite caregiver certification so he could foster young children on the weekend. In addition to this, he also mentors his young cousin, passing on what BCFS did for him.

Mark, Samuel and Zoiyee are three shining examples of the incredible people we serve at BCFS’ Corpus Christi center.

If you’d like to get involved in BCFS, please visit DiscoverBCFS.net or call 1(800) 830-2246.