Teens In Foster Care Sent To College With Help From Junior League

To aid in the transition from the foster care system to college life, the Junior League of the Palm Beaches’ Pink Palm Brigade presented care packages to five exceptional local students on Thursday, July 17 at the organization’s headquarters in West Palm Beach.

Five recipients who attended high school in Palm Beach County were selected due to their outstanding academic and personal achievements while in the foster care system. These baskets were filled with dorm essentials including hangers, laundry detergent, towels and a $100 Target gift card.

Junior League of the Palm Beaches President Ashley Schutz met Laura Shoemaker, the foster care liaison for the School District of Palm Beach County, at a Transition to Independent Living task force meeting hosted by ChildNet, and decided the Pink Palm Brigade would step in to assist these students in their journey. In February, after a year-long period of issue research and needs analysis, the Junior League of the Palm Beaches selected foster care as the organization’s new focus area for community impact.

“These teenagers have overcome obstacles unfathomable to most people. Their journey to college will undoubtedly be easier due to the generosity of those in our community who donated items for these care packages,” Schutz said. “Our connection to the foster care system reaches beyond donations; our members mentor young women at local group homes like the Nelle Smith Residence for Girls and Vita Nova Village. The impact on their lives from such small gestures is immeasurable.”

The Junior League of the Palm Beaches’ Pink Palm Brigade was established in an effort to help various local nonprofit organizations by supplying care packages filled with necessities for those in need. Hundreds of care packages are created each year thanks to donations from the Junior League and the community.

Care package recipients, listed with their respective high schools and colleges, are: Deminke Hall, Crossroads High School, Edwards Waters College; Tawana Michel, Wellington High School, Valencia College; Tamara Laurette, Royal Palm Beach High School, Valencia College; Willie Green, Glades Central High School, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University; and Cassandra Fadael, Boynton Beach High School, Bethune-Cookman University.

Those interested in donating items for future basket presentations can visit Pink Palm’s Wish List on Pinterest, www.pinterest.com/JuniorLeaguePB/pink-palm, and www.jlpb.org/pink-palm, for a comprehensive list of items the league needs most.

The Junior League of the Palm Beaches is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For more information, visit www.jlpb.org.

ABOVE: Deminke Hall, Tawana Michel, Tamara Laurette, Cassandra Fadael, Willie Green with baskets from the Junior League.