29 foster care youth graduated high school in Texas Region 2 this past year
ABILENE, Texas (June 21, 2021) – 2INgage recently held its annual graduation ceremony celebrating youth in foster care who graduated from high school this past year.
In total, a record 29 youth from around Texas Region 2 received their high school diplomas and were invited to the event held at the local 2INgage office.
“I’m so excited we had so many graduates, especially because of the year we’ve just had with everyone dealing with the coronavirus,” 2INgage Vice President Sherrel Mathews said. “To think that these kids stuck with the program and graduated high school is incredible, and I am so proud of them. They all have these wonderful goals and dreams. Most of them want to go to college and they all want to be successful just like any other 18-year-old. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of them.”
The graduates were treated to a catered meal, a signed certificate from Governor Greg Abbott and a care package that included a new laptop, a Keurig coffee maker and coffee pods, a tumbler, and other assorted snacks and trinkets to celebrate their accomplishment. The gifts were provided by Hunter Beaton’s Day 1 Bags non-profit organization and the H.R. 133 federal coronavirus relief grant.
“We are so happy with the number of graduates this year, but even more important is how proud they are of themselves. That is a great thing to see,” Preparation for Adult Living Specialist Kelli Brown said. “Teenagers have the hardest lives of all kids in the foster care system, and it’s our job to support them as much as we can. It means the world to me when I receive an invitation to their graduations, and this year we have received so many of them. That helps reinforce that what we are doing is having a real positive impact on the lives of these kids.”
The graduates are now set to turn their attention to their postsecondary careers. All are eligible to have their tuition and fees waived at state supported colleges or universities as long as they enroll prior to their 25th birthday.
“We know how challenging it is to make it to this point in their lives, so we love that we get to celebrate this accomplishment with them,” 2INgage Permanency Support Supervisor Kimberly Brusewitz said. “They’ve all worked so hard, and we hope we can continue to see this type of progress for all of our kids in the future.”
2INgage is a unique partnership between Texas Family Initiative LLC and New Horizons Inc. that works together to serve some of our most vulnerable children and families. This partnership has combined child welfare experience of more than 95 years and will further our community’s pursuit of caring for our children and families with integrity and success. To learn more, please visit www.2ingage.org.