Tag: foster care youth

How Bronx Teen, Tyree Grant, Went From Foster Care To Full College Scholarship

Tyree Grant

Stories about children shuffling through the foster care system don’t always end with a fairytale adoption — but Tyree Grant’s did.  The 18-year-old high school senior was only six when he was forced to leave his mother and siblings. Grant spent the next two years moving from one family to the next, before being adopted by his parents Walter and Theresa Grant.

“I moved back and forth to homes, it was difficult. I fought, I screamed, I yelled, I cried — it hurt,” Tyree said. “No kid wants to be put through that situation.”

But the Grant family was a perfect fit. Tyree’s proud parents told NBC Today they knew immediately when they saw his picture that he was their son. And the feeling was mutual — by the time his parents asked if he wanted to be a part of the family, Tyree said he felt that he already was.

“I felt wanted, I felt accepted. There’s no better feeling than that.”

The Grio reports that Grant will graduate this year from the Bronx School of Law and Finance with an A average. The smart young man attributes his success to his family for their unwavering love and support and for helping him focus his time and energy on what matters most.  “Just knowing that school is priority number one, I was able to move through all the distractions and still come out on top.”

Grant will attend Dickinson College next fall on a full ride scholarship — thanks to help he received from The Posse Foundation, a program devoted to developing college access and leadership growth for urban youth.

It’s no surprise that he is there planning to pursue law and policy with a minor in philosophy, considering his high school internships at law firms and participation with the World Changers Church New York.

Grant’s inspiring journey is a testament to the power of love, determination and faith — all things that the bold young man embodies.  To see video of this story, click here.

article by Jessica Dickerson via huffingtonpost.com

Festus Ohan, 22, Overcomes Troubled Teen Foster Care Years to Finish College and Earn Acceptance to 7 Top Medical Schools

festusohanHe led a tough life. The odds were stacked against him and, at one time, it did seem that he wouldn’t be able to make it through high school. He, and almost everyone around him, just couldn’t imagine seeing him succeed.

But that is exactly what Festus Ohan, 22, did: he succeeded.  Festus spent his teen years in foster care. He remembers the day his father left him.

“I went to bed in tears, crying, praying, [and] asking God ‘Why did this happen to me?’” Festus says. Over the years, he was passed on from one family to another, so many of them in fact, that even he isn’t sure about the exact number – seven or eight is his best estimate.

All he knows is that the time he spent in the foster care system “was the worst time” in his life. It didn’t help with his education either.

“Early on in high school, I got in trouble for fighting a lot,” Festus says, “and I was in a pre-expulsion contract.”

His ultimate dream was to become a doctor. But the life he was living almost made it impossible for him to keep that dream alive.

Those that were actually supposed to encourage him were the ones that were discouraging him. “Constantly hearing my foster parents throw statistics at me, about there’s only a 1 percent chance that a foster kid will even graduate college, let alone attend professional school, kind of impacted me in a way,” Festus says.

That’s all changed now. Festus is about to graduate from University of California, Riverside with a degree in neuroscience. He’s so good at his studies that, so far, he has been accepted to 7 medical schools all over the country: Northwestern University, Columbia University, Cornell University, University of California, San Francisco, University of Houston, University of California, Los Angeles, and University of Southern California.

But Festus has made up his mind; he’s headed to UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine where he has been offered a fellowship that covers all expenses.

“I actually start Aug. 4, so I’ll have like a 6-week break,” Festus says, “but I’m excited for the next step in my journey.”

article by Liku Zelleke via themedicalblog.net

NFL Player David Nelson Invites 15-year-old Foster Child, Davion Only, to Jets Game

New York Jets player David Nelson (L) and 15-year-old foster boy Davion Only. (Photos courtesy of Getty images/Today)
New York Jets player David Nelson (L) and 15-year-old foster boy Davion Only. (Photos courtesy of Getty images/Today)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Davion Only, the 15-year-old Florida foster boy who made headlines with his heartfelt adoption plea in October, was a guest of Jets wide receiver David Nelson at New York’s game against the Cleveland Browns.  Only, wearing a green Jets jersey with Nelson’s No. 86, was on the sideline before the game Sunday at MetLife Stadium with a friend and guardian during the players’ warmups. Nelson also posed for pictures with Only, who was hosted this weekend by Nelson and his charity organization i’mME.

Nelson, who formed i’mMe with his two brothers to aid orphaned children last January, invited Only to New York for “a crash course in Christmastime in the city” after hearing about how the boy stood in front of a church congregation and begged for a family to love him.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press via thegrio.com

Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway Endows Jackson State University To Aid Foster Care Youth with Tuition

Vanessa Bell CallowayJackson State University in Mississippi has announced that foster care youth from outside the state of Mississippi can now enroll at the university and pay substantially lower in-state tuition. Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway has established an endowed fund at Jackson State to help these students pay for college.

Many students from the foster care system have great difficulty paying for college because once they reach the age of 18, they lose government benefits from the foster care program. Jackson State President Carolyn Meyers stated, “We want to remove as many barriers as possible so that students from all walks of life get the opportunity to succeed.”

In-state tuition for certain population groups outside of Mississippi was made possible by a new state law enacted last year. In addition to the new program for foster youth, Jackson State offers in-state tuition packages to high achieving students from urban schools outside of Mississippi, STEM majors, children of military families, and children of alumni donors.

article by jbhe.com