On July 16th ILYA (Independent Living for Young Adults) held its first ever virtual graduation party. It was hosted by Amy Barch along with team mates Barbara Crowell and Pauline Koch. Sophia Elliot from the DE Division of Family Services congratulated the grads and invited them to tell everyone where they graduated from and where they were headed. Alumna Mayda Berrios, now a sophomore at Delaware State University, gave tips for success and told the new grads about the organization she’s set up at for peer support at the university. Alumnus, Dion Inge, who is now finishing his master’s in social work, shared encouragement, cautions and reality checks with the grads… all very sound comments!
Jess Farris who led the effort to obtain and prepare the gift backpacks, demonstrated what the youth would be receiving (including laptop computers!) to all those going on to further education. Through her company, AmWINS Program Underwriters, Inc., Jess was able to completely fund those laptops along with a mouse and thumb drive for each student. An absolutely amazing effort!!
Deb Griffin spoke to the grads about our Student Care Package project and urged them to sign up. She encouraged them to access the support our volunteers are so willing to provide to help get through tough exam times, holidays, etc. (And don’t forget… we’ll be looking for those volunteers in September.)
The chat box was active during the party with the grads reactions to all this good news. They were really excited despite the distance we had to keep. After the party, one who doesn’t usually say much wrote, “Wow! Yesterday was such a nice event!”
So it’s more than just a graduation party… it’s a powerful kickoff to a young person’s next stage of life. In your name, ILYA gave them a good send off! Thank you for all your support, First U! And check out the pictures. Click here if you would like to check out the video from the zoom party!