Going the Distance for our Kids after Foster Care
Our young people are extraordinarily capable. Yes, they do often find themselves behind because of the trauma and transience they have experienced. But, when they get consistent support and opportunity, they catch up and thrive! At Graham Windham, knowing that success happens over time, we have made a commitment to stick with young people, see them through their challenges and help them fulfill their potential. It is the right thing and — with all we are learning about the brain’s ongoing development all the way through to the age of 25 — an absolute necessity to promote lifelong success. We are grateful to our friends and supporters who believe in our kids and their potential.
Thanks to the generous support from friends like you, we were able to grant one of our foster care alumni support from The Andrew Francis Makk Youth Opportunity Scholarship, which provided him with access to an educational experience to travel to Iceland and learn more about his passion, renewable energy, and meet with the President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson! David came back with lessons for us. As we experience every day at Graham Windham, our young people deserve our support and our ear; they are constantly teaching us.
Please read below a message from David about his experience.
“I was lucky enough to meet the President of Iceland, Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson during a recent trip to Iceland as a member of The GREEN Program. GREEN is an organization that selects students that are passionate about renewable energy and gives them the opportunity to gain hands on experience with industry leaders. The program was a mixture of outdoor and in-the-classroom learning – something that was very helpful in teaching me about the way a nation supports itself in innovative and socially responsible ways. I applied to the program around February of this year, because renewable energy is something I am very interested in. It was a long road to get funding for the program. My college would not help me, and I couldn’t find scholarships that would support such a short program. All seemed lost until I contacted Hamilton Goodridge, my social worker at Graham Windham, and told him about this opportunity. He encouraged me to speak to my success coach. She gave me the application for the Andrew Makk scholarship. I filled it out, was accepted, and was pretty much funded for my trip! If it wasn’t for the hard work and support of these people, I would have never travelled to Iceland, let alone met the President. One key thing I learned on this trip was that caring for nature is very important for Icelanders. They realize that they have to live off this planet in every way possible, whether it is for food, energy, or any sort of survival. Because of such rigorous efforts to keep their nature intact, they have some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, and some of the cleanest water as well. They use what they need when it is the right time – like hydropower. There are some plants that shut down when salmon are migrating for mating season, which is one example of the country’s dedication to their environment. My plans for the fall are to continue to take classes in preparation for my graduation from college, and to participate in the Southern Tier Solar Works internship that I was just accepted into. I just wanted to thank everyone at Graham Windham for their support.” — David R.