“Surprise” Graduation Parade for foster teens | Friday, June 12th, 2020
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) will host a Surprise High School Graduation Parade for 6 foster teens on Friday, June 12th, 2020 in the DFPS parking lot 501 Hawkins at 9:30 a.m.
“We are inviting folks to join us in lining the sidewalk, with social distancing, around the building to cheer on our graduates as they drive by,” said Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Coordinator Molly Wegner.
“They think they are coming for a social distancing graduation photo shoot, so it will be a surprise to them when they see us all!”
Wegner is asking everyone to please arrive no later than 9:30 a.m. on June 12th, park in the back of the building, make signs to congratulate them, bring your family/friends and most importantly be loud!
“Usually we have a graduation party for foster youth, like last year we went to Top Golf. But this year, due to COVID-19 and required social distancing, we decided to think outside the box and do a parade to celebrate our Class of 2020.”
The event is sponsored by DFPS and made possible with volunteer help from Pinnacle Social Services, Community Partners of El Paso, Guardians of the Children motorcycle club, Project Linus and Lightfall Photography’s Elizabeth Houser.
“Our community partners definitely made a big push on social media to come up with gift cards,” said Wegner.
“Graduating from high school should be an exciting time filled with hope and encouragement from friends and family, and a sense of a wide open future full of adventure and ready to be conquered. The goal is to lift up each of these graduates as they move forward in their journey.”
For kids in foster care, this is not always the case. Graduation for some can be a time of fear and trepidation. Statistics tell their story:
Less than 50% of foster youth graduate from high school
Less than 2% of foster youth graduate from college
Source: Angel Reach. Changing lives. Fostering Hope.