Caitlin O’Neill, 18, graduated from Neshaminy High School in June. She lives in Langhorne with her foster family. Caitlin has been inspired by her high school English teacher, Christopher DiCicco, the Director of English Department at Neshaminy.
Mr. DiCicco is a published author and Caitlin wants to follow in his footsteps by studying English at Arcadia University in Glenside this September. Caitlin’s favorite author is Lauren Halse Anderson.
Caitlin has enjoyed being a little sister with Big Brothers /Big Sisters for 8 years, carries a 4.02 GPA and is member of the Neshaminy Orchestra. She hopes to join the college newspaper and visualizes her first novel becoming a blockbuster movie.
Denajha Dawson, 18, plans to be a Correctional Officer. After graduating from Bensalem high school, with a GPA of 3.9, she will pursue her degree from Bucks Co. Comm. College. She was in the color guard and marching band. Her hobbies include pottery.
Denajha works part time in food services for Sesame Place. She was born in Bucks Co., but moved at age 2 to Georgia. At age 14, she returned to Bucks Co. to live with her aunt. She has lived in a Group Home for 3 years. She has a younger brother and two younger sisters who live in Georgia.
Denajha says moving from home to home is sometimes tough, especially the adjustment to new schools. She learned to “support herself,” focused on her goals and worked hard to earn her diploma. She appreciates the scholarship as she would like to finish college with few loans.
Denajha chose Corrections because she likes to see people get well.
Angelina Hallett's goal is to become a veterinarian. She now works at Pet Smart. She will attend Northampton Community College in September after graduating from Bensalem HS. Angelina volunteers for the Youth Service Agency Nature Center and participates in chorus and likes creative writing.
William Wunderling, 20, graduated from Bensalem HS. His dream is to own restaurants and name each one after every one of his children. He currently attends BCCC and hopes to transfer to Del Val or Kutztown.
William worked all through high school at a number of restaurants as a dishwasher, cook and busboy. He has also worked as a landscaper.
William, who lived in a Foster home, believes that every placed child should work hard to be the “best person they can be.”
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When people think about FOSTER KIDS, they picture babies or small children. Little kids without parents are easy to care about. But those little ones grow up quickly and are suddenly dropped by a system they have come to rely upon. Many leave the system without the support systems and skills to guide them to productive adulthood. As many as 25% will end up homeless at some point in their lives.
Picture a normal college freshman, filled with excitement and optimism, but also scared and confused. But this teenager faces a challenge that separates them from the rest of the crowd.
When this student turns 18, he or she officially “AGES OUT” of the C and Y system. These students ask themselves the same questions as the other students:
“How am I going to pay for school?”
“Where will I go for the holidays and in the summer? “
They are alone in making these decisions.
Of the more than 20,000 kids who AGE OUT of Foster Care in America every year, less than 30% graduate from high school. Less than 11% continue on to college or vocational school.
The solution is for their COMMUNITY to be actively involved in their transition to adulthood. Every AGING OUT child has the same wish list:
Since 1991, Bucks for Kids has provided SCHOLARSHIPS for hundreds of high school graduates. These kids work hard in high school. Many times their teachers are their mentors. They usually have part time jobs.
Suddenly upon graduation, they are responsible for a place to live and their college education. It takes great effort on their part to continue their education as they depend upon themselves for survival.
HELP BUCKS FOR KIDS SUPPORT THESE STUDENTS!
THEIR FUTURE DEPENDS UPON US