It happened! The 2019 Graduation Pizza Party was held last week and as you can see in the pictures, below, a great time was had by all. High school grads, college grads, vocational school grads, foster care alumnae, Sophia Cywinksi, manager of the state’s Independent Living Program, Independent Living Coordinators (contracted by the state), and team members from ILYA (Independent Living for Young Adults) and a foster dad all gathered to celebrate.
Why does ILYA make such a big deal of graduation? It’s because it is a big deal when you are in foster care. When you spend time away from you family, when you move from home to home and school to school, it’s awesome that you can keep enough focus on your studies to achieve graduation.
Not only is this probably the only celebration these graduates get, but many face ridicule from their family of origin for being “uppity” or “smarty pants”. There’s no value put on hard work and discipline. These young people have had to rely on their own inner fortitude with only peripheral support from outside the family to achieve this milestone.
So we do say CONGRATULATIONS! And we also congratulate Amy Barch, Cathy Cambridge, Lori Cowan, Betty Wier, Barbara Crowell and their helpers in creating this wonderful celebration. We also thank all the ILYA supporters who made it possible.