Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Beginnings

Today is March 1, and that means Spring can't be that far away! I learned this morning that Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday, March 14, AND I saw jonquils blooming yesterday. Now, I know that I could never be so lucky as to think we won't have any more crummy weather. But, by the time March gets here, I feel like there is at least light at the end of the tunnel. Sun is shining today, and that is ALWAYS good news.

We associate Spring with new beginnings, new life, hope. My father always has a bunch of new foals in the Spring, hibernating animals venture forth with their new families, rivers swell with melting ice, grass grows, leaves turn green, flowers bloom.....the earth wakes up. What a burst of life!

And speaking of new beginnings and a new life, I just heard from one of our case managers that she is moving to Austin to work with foster kids who are aging out of the care of the Department of Family and Protective Services. She is a former foster youth herself and has an incredibly deep passion to help these aging-out teens know what services are available to them as they transition from the care of the state to being on their own.

Did you know that foster teens are eligible for tuition waivers for college? Or that they are supposed to get a transition allowance? Or that they can stay in care as long as they are in school if they want to? Or, that they can go back into care once they have aged out if they find they aren't making it on their own? Most foster teens have no idea that these services are available to them. There are a myriad of reasons for this, but Courtney, our case manager, knows EVERY service for which they are eligible.

Although her moving to Austin is a real loss for us, she is living her dream and will have such a meaningful impact on the lives of young people in the foster care system. She came to see me today to thank me for the opportunity to work with our teens at Promise House. I think we are the lucky ones. With her heart and passion for this work, she will go far.

What a thrill it is for me to see our young employees progress through their careers. Even though Promise House is many times the first stop on their ladder to success, watching them gain experience, confidence, and expertise here that they will carry with them throughout their careers is well worth it.

Like many of our teens, our young employees may move on from Promise House; but they carry us in their hearts forever. I'm not quite sure why, but it is VERY hard to ever really leave PH.

There are always endings before beginnings. The end of winter brings spring. The end of service at Promise House brings a new opportunity, the opening of a new door. Another young professional will join the Promise House family, and life at PH goes on. And.....spring is almost here!

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