The First Star Old Dominion University (ODU) Academy received the Partner of the Year award at the Foster Care Aware Gala hosted by Tidewater Friends of Foster Care (TFFC). The Gala gathered to celebrate those making a difference for youth in foster care and highlighted TFFC's impact. TaShara Bailey, former First Star ODU director, and Brian Ritchey, First Star’s Senior Director of Academy Partnerships, attended the event and accepted the award on behalf of our team!
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The Black History Month 2024 theme, “African Americans and the Arts,” explores the key influence African Americans have had in the fields of "visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression."
Through the First Star STEAM Academy, exploration into the arts included a session on sustainable fashion. You can watch the series on our YouTube channel. Link in bio!
To explore more about this year's theme, please visit the Association of African American Life and History website (ASALH): /black-history-themes/
Have you ever considered what our scholars want you to know about foster care?
The First Star Scholar Advisory Committee (SAC) uplifts student voices and enacts foster care system change. SAC hosted the Scholar Voice Podcast Series, a community space dedicated to scholar voice and developing solutions. To watch the series, please visit the link on our bio!
Tune in tomorrow (1/21) for a discussion on foster care and education. Prof. Christian Green and I will be featured on ‘The Justice Files’ this week, to engage in a meaningful conversation about foster care. Together, we’ll delve into the intricacies of how children enter the foster care system, navigate their journey within it, and explore various ways to support and improve their experiences, including how First Star, Inc. supports the journey of teenagers and young adults in LA and across the country.
Listen LIVE on KBLA 1580 AM Talk Radio at 10 am pst this Sunday, January 21. The replay will be at 10 pm pst.
We remember the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact on our nation. His words remain true many years later as we are reminded of the importance of serving others, loving our neighbors, and pursuing justice and equality for all.
Pictured: Our CEO, Lyndsey C. Wilson's grandfather, Rev. G. Mansfield Collins (Left), a Tuskegee Airman and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Right)
Warm holiday wishes from First Star! 🌟
There's still time to give! Join us in making a positive impact in our community! Give by texting GIVEFIRST23 to 44-321 or clicking the link in our bio. Thank you for supporting improved educational access for youth in care!
Our 2022 Impact Report highlights the investment we've made in our First Star Scholars. Through our programs and services, we have helped youth in foster care achieve academic success, gain access to mental health resources, and build meaningful relationships with caring adults.
Going forward, we are strengthening our organization so we can continue helping First Star scholars achieve their dreams. None of this would be possible without the support of our incredible community of donors, volunteers, and partners. Your investment and dedication to our cause have been essential to our success, and we are grateful for your ongoing support. As we look ahead to the future, we are committed to continuing our work to support teenagers and young adults to create a brighter future for all young people. Your support helps us continue to work to uplift communities and create change by building strong pathways for hundreds of high-school-age youth in care to post-secondary education and successful adult lives. To view our full 2022 Impact Report please follow the link in our bio!
There's still time to give! Join us in making a positive impact in our community! Give by texting GIVEFIRST23 to 44-321 or by clicking the link in our bio. Thank you for supporting improved educational access for youth in care!
We want to introduce you to the wonderful work of our Scholars Advisory Council - specifically, their Scholar Voice Podcast Series! A community space for our alumni and scholars across the nation where they engage in conversation and share their experiences in hopes of finding solutions to the challenges faced by youth in care.
Please follow them on IG: @fs.scholaradvisorycommittee and support their success with a year end gift to First Star: link in our bio or by texting GIVEFIRST23 to 44-321
We are delighted to share that the First Star Network gathered in person for our seventh Annual National Conference from October 18th—20th in Arizona! Co-hosted by our partners at Arizona State University, we spent three fantastic days together exploring the theme of this year’s conference, “The Power of Connection!" During our time together, we shared our successes, strengthened our community, and collaborated on our next steps toward our teams' and brilliant scholars’ bright futures. Alongside Academy Directors from across the country, we were joined by ASU leadership: Sr. Vice President-Educational Outreach and Student Services, Dr. James Rund; Vice President-Outreach Partnerships, Dr. Sharon Smith; the Deputy Vice President of Access ASU, Vanessa Ruiz; and Career Pathways Director, Roger Fisher. We held community dinners, delved into Academy best practices, hosted Q&As with key members of the ASU community, and found moments to celebrate our teammates across the country!
Please consider supporting First Star by clicking the link in our bio or by texting GIVEFIRST23 to 44-321!
First Star ASU Academy Alumni Sam performed a profound spoken word poem at this year's First Star National Conference:
" When I was younger, when I heard the word dream, it would bring a tear to my eye because from my background and people I grew up with, a dream wasn’t something attainable, it was an escape.... now I have a family at First Star and now I am allowed to dream... I can honestly say, without First Star I wouldn’t have spoken nationally in front of thousands of people....Without First Star, I never would have graduated high school, I might not even be alive, without First Star I definitely wouldn’t be in this room. WITHOUT FIRST STAR I WOULD NOT HAVE A DREAM"
You can support First Star scholars and Alumni by texting GIVEFIRST23 to 44-321 or by clicking the link in our bio. Thank you for supporting improved educational access for youth in care!