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!
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.