On July 8th 2015, Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families held a graduation reception at Brooklyn Borough Hall to celebrate the accomplishments of our youth in foster care. Donald Fields, in care with Edwin Gould as a teen and passionate advocate for social change, gave the keynote address. We were also joined by our Executive Director Keith Little and special guest, Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President.
For over 75 years, Edwin Gould has addressed the complex, and often overwhelming, issues that confront society. Our cornerstone foster care and adoption services serve over 900 children and teens each year and provide training and support to hundreds of foster parents. This annual event offers an opportunity to celebrate our young people and their unparalleled accomplishments; highlighting their resiliency and hard earned efforts in the face of the unique challenges faced by youth in the foster care system.
“I want you to appreciate the uniqueness that you embody. Today, in a world that seeks to assault your uniqueness I want you to shelter it, protect it, and never let anyone make you feel ashamed of it. The thing that will separate you, that will make you great, and that will carry you for years to come, is your ability to be you.” Donald Fields, Keynote Speaker
Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, entered the room holding a large sign upon which was written IMPOSSIBLE:
“Let other people look at this [sign] and say ‘impossible,’ you look at this and say ‘I-[a]m-possible’ –no matter what hurdle I go through, no matter how difficult things are. I am possible. We must continue on every day, no matter who we are, no matter how much money we make, no matter where we live, all of us are going to come up against obstacles. And we’re gonna feel as if we can’t go on….but to that say this one thing: I am possible, I am possible, I am possible.” -Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President
Executive Director, Keith Little extended congratulations to all attending, foster parents, friends, and staff, acknowledging the community effort it takes to ensure the success of “our children:”
“To our family members, keep supporting the efforts of our children – and, yes, I say OUR children.”-Keith Little, Executive Director
Edwin Gould is continually committed to creating a space where the needs of our children are met in a nurturing and positive environment. Nationally, only 48% of youth in care graduate from high school by the time they’re 18*. Given this reality, this event marked an important milestone in our youths’ lives, one in which they proved the seemingly impossible to be possible.
*From: Reilly, T. (2003). Transition from care: Status and outcomes of youth who age out of foster care. Child Welfare, 82(6), 727-746.