The Vernon sisters, Patrice and Lillian, are very close. Throughout their whole experience in foster care, they and their three other siblings have clung to each other for support after being removed from their mother due to her substance abuse. Being only a year apart in age, the two oldest girls have a special bond. When Patrice was accepted into Florida State University, she asked her GAL Melissa if she could have Lillian accompany her on campus move-in day. She could not imagine the thought of making the trip to Tallahassee, setting up her dorm room and touring the campus without her sister by her side.
Lillian is about to enter her Senior year in high school, so Melissa thought it would a good idea for Lillian to visit the FSU campus as a way of motivating Lillian to set her sights on college after she graduates. This would not only be a move-in for Patricia, but a college tour for Lillian so Melissa reached out to Voices For Children and asked if there was a way that they could provide the funds for bus fare for Lillian. They worked together with the agency supervising the case and, in the end, Voices indeed came through with the necessary funds, but Melissa had another surprise in store. Patrice and Lillian’s mother, who had struggled with substance abuse, had been doing so well in with her case plan and taking care of all her services that they were able to provide the funds for the fare to have their mother take the trip as well.
The move was a tremendous success and the family had an amazing time enjoying the special experience of sending off Patrice, the first person in her family to attend college. Now they have the wonderful memories to look back on and Lillian is looking forward to graduation and her turn to make those same memories when she goes off to college.
There are almost 2,500 children in foster care in Miami-Dade County. Please give so we can provide special memories like this to more of them.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.