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A True Honor

I am extremely humbled and grateful for the recognition I received at last night’s Higher Education Mentoring Initiative’s holiday party. I can think of no greater honor that than to have my name attached to a scholarship that will help a young person achieve their dreams. Education is the foundation cornerstone to health, happiness and economic prosperity – three things, we can all agree, we wish for all of our teenagers, whether they are in foster care or not.

I think back to a few years ago when I read about a partnership in California between local colleges and the agency that serves foster children and how I thought to myself, “I wonder if we could do that here?” Now we know. The answer is, “Absolutely!” With hard work, dreams do become reality and this program is proof.

So many people worked to make HEMI what it is today – I give credit to Commissioner Hartmann, Rayma Waters, Greg Vehr, Annie Schellinger, Chris Bochenek and Tim Maloney from the Haile Foundation, Ron McSwain and many more – they turned my idea into reality. And the mentors and mentees – they are the real heroes behind HEMI’s success.

Just so it isn’t lost in all the hoopla, the program did have its first college graduate this year! Thank you Mariah Maxwell for persevering! You can see Mariah in the video, which was a total surprise to me, as was the $25,000 donation by the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation. As I said, I am truly humbled and grateful.

 

 

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Haile Foundation Goes Above and Beyond for JFS

We have many partnerships in our community with organizations and other government entities that are doing similar work and trying to achieve similar goals. The bottom line is we can achieve more when we work together.

But we have a special relationship with The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation. The Haile Foundation truly believes in our work and helping the people we serve, so the folks running the foundation go above and beyond when it comes to helping us out. I sometimes feel like we are the Haile Foundation’s adopted child — Tim and Leslie Maloney and Christine Bochenek answer the call any time we reach out to them.

The Haile Foundation currently funds several interns who perform work that helps take the pressure off of our staff. It also has provided gifts to graduating foster children or adoptive families in the past, including tickets to Playhouse in the Park.

And now the Foundation is bringing country singer Jimmy Wayne to town to speak to our staff, providers, partners and foster children about how a “foster” family saved his life and set him on the path to success. His story is touching and inspirational and I am glad the people who work in the field and the children who are traveling similar paths will have the chance to hear it.

Tim, Leslie and Chris are extremely good to our organization and make life easier for the people we serve. These are the kinds of parterships that work. We cannot achieve our mission without the support of the community.

Thank you Haile Foundation!