HFY’s Annual Awards Dinner and Celebration
This year’s 2014 Annual Awards Dinner was an inspirational event. One by one, youth and staff from various HFY programs honored the stage to celebrate individual achievements for this year. We were thrilled to have Nicole Russell, President of the Precious Dreams Foundation, as our Mistress of Ceremonies, presented the awards and announce the guest speaker for the night, Keema Davis.
Guest speaker Keema Davis is the Wednesday’s Child Program Coordinator for the Freddie Mac Foundation and gracefully shared with the audience her inspiring foster care story. At the early age of 10, Davis was moved from home and placed in the foster care system. Ms. Davis found her forever family at the age of 14 after multiple placements. Her foster mother encouraged, uplifted and inspired Ms. Davis to be better and she did exactly that by earning a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Communications and a Master’s of Business Administration. Ms. Davis was diagnosed with Lupus at the age of 17 and despite this health challenge, she continued to persevere. Ms. Davis drove home the message of conquer your dreams no matter the obstacles.
Below we acknowledge many of the accomplishments HFY youth:
Asareel Y. and Ryan R. were both acknowledged for their tremendous improvements academically and are successfully graduating this year. Both have been great role models and leaders in the group home and are thrilled to work on accomplishing their career goals.
The Individual Accomplishment Award for the Long Term Group Home was presented to Ms. Anna L. who has overcome major obstacles in her life since her admission into the program in April 2013. While adjusting to being away from her biological family, Anna has made great progress in creating goals for herself and has improved tremendously in school and currently has a “B” average. As Anna approached the podium to receive her award, the audience could not help but notice and participate in the love and support Anna received from her peers in the Bellmore girls’ home.
The Therapeutic Foster Care program was honored to celebrate Courtney B. and Elizabeth C. as they prepare to graduate from the 5th grade and high school. We are excited to see what they will accomplish next.
Ambitious, motivated and focused through out her foster care placement. Dhestinie F. has shown there are no limits to what you can accomplish and was awarded with the Academic Performance Award. Throughout her placement, Dhestinie has earned excellent grades and has worked diligently to balance school and working a part-time job. Dhestinie serves has a role model to her peers and siblings.
Sibling pair Devin and Kayleen P. both received the Individual Accomplishment Award. The duo has shown great personal growth while being loving, creative and playful throughout their placement.
It was with great pride to award Karina B. of the Therapeutic Foster Care program with the Progress in Motion award. Karina has grown as an individual while gaining the self-confidence to pursue her personal goals and has learned coping skills in individual and group therapy.
The Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy Progress in Motion award went to Joel B. who has developed great communication skills and has learned to utilize the skills necessary to manage challenging life situations and plans to pursue a career in computer science.
The Suffolk Intensive Case Management Program was proud to honor Brianna G. for her development and success as an individual. Brianna has persevered through difficult times while achieving the honor roll in her school and actively works with the deaf and plans to attend college to pursue a career working with the hearing impaired.
Jeyson and his father received the Community Reinvestment Program’s Progress in Motion Award. Through out the past six months, Jeyson and his father have shown excellent team work and have progressed in organizational and management skills while being great examples of family support.
Staff milestones and dedication were also celebrated at the dinner. This year’s staff of the year was awarded to Diana Murphy, a 10 year veteran of the Non-Secure Detention program. She was selected and celebrated by her colleagues for her dedication and hard work.
These youth were celebrated for their improvements and are a true testament to the mission of HFY.
Graduation Highlight: Elizabeth C
It has been an encouragement to see the motivation and perseverance of Elizabeth C. from the Therapeutic Foster Care program. Originally placed in the Family Ties sibling program, Elizabeth has worked tremendously hard to overcome the challenges set before her.
During her placement in foster care, Elizabeth has worked closely with HFY staff, mentor, tutors and foster parents to prepare her for this vital part of her life. She has studied hard, worked on independent living skills to keep her focused on succeeding academically and has set goals to keep her on track. Additionally, Elizabeth has maintained her grades while actively competing in basketball and track during the winter and spring sport seasons.
Elizabeth graduated and has been accepted to Nassau Community College. She will begin her higher education experience and plans on pursuing a career in criminal justice.
We are proud to highlight Elizabeth’s accomplishments as she continues to triumph in all that she sets her mind to achieve.