Foster Care Alumni Graduating with MSW and Giving Back

Foster Alumni, Maria Hernandez, is graduating with a Masters Degree from Rutgers School of Social Work. Her ability to overcome difficult circumstances and successfully navigate her way into adulthood is an inspiration.
Beth Salamon wrote an article about Maria’s experience for Rutgers Today titled, “Former Foster Child Helps Families Looking to Adopt, Foster Children Seeking a Home”
Read the article on Rutgers Today here: Click Here per


Every year kids become victims of homicide. An epidemic that is killing a large number of youths. And we can help. This is a PSA produced by Miami World Cinema Center and Panzou, an organization made to help troubled teens and guide them away from violence and drugs. The actors in the video are not actors but actual kids that Panzou helps every day. And the video is part of a workshop that let me teach these kids


ReMoved was made with the desire that it would be used to serve in bringing awareness, encourage, and be useful in foster parent training, and raising up foster parents. Originally created for the 168 Film Festival, ReMoved follows the emotional story through the eyes of a young girl taken from her home and placed into foster care.

Demetrius Jackson: From Foster Home to Golden Dome

As a result of unfortunate circumstances, Demetrius Jackson entered Indiana’s foster care system at age 12. He originally thought foster care was going to be a short, temporary experience in order to take some burden off his bio-mom. To Demetrius’s disappointment, his time in care ended up lasting much longer.
Today, Demetrius is the starting point guard for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame as a sophomore. His ability to overcome obstacles and never give up has translated to success in both the basketball court and life.

Scholarships available for Montgomery area high school seniors

The Capital City Kiwanis Club is once again offering scholarship opportunities for Montgomery area high school seniors.  Attached is the scholarship application and additional details.  The scholarship information is posted on our website,   


Capital City Kiwanis provides three scholarships annually to top high school students!

The Charles M. Read Scholarship may be awarded to a member of the senior class from one of the Montgomery County Public, Independent or Private High Schools. The minimum amount of this cash grant, which is presented in May of each year, is $2,000.00. Two criteria govern selection: high academic achievement and demonstrated leadership and service in school, church and/or community.

The Junius Smith/Phillip Poundstone Needs based Scholarship may be awarded to a member of the senior class from one of the seven Montgomery County Public High Schools. The minimum amount of this cash grant, which is presented in May of each year, is $2,000.00. Two criteria govern selection: high academic achievement and demonstrated leadership and service in school, church and/or community.

The Henry McNeill Memorial Scholarship may be awarded to a high school senior from a Montgomery Public, Independent or Private High School. The minimum amount of this cash grant, which is presented in May of each year, is $1,000. Two criteria govern selection:  high academic achievement and demonstrated leadership and service in school, church and/or community.  This scholarship particularly seeks a student who has shown a strong work ethic as demonstrated by outside employment or significant volunteer activity. 

Applicants will be judged solely on evidence of academic and leadership achievement without regard to race, creed or sex. Every applicant will be acknowledged; finalists may be asked to appear for a personal interview with the selection committee.

March 18, 2015 - Deadline to apply

April 1, 2015 – Interviews

May 4, 2015 – Scholarship Presentation


Mail or deliver this application and attachments to the address below. All materials must be received by 4:00 PM March 18th.

Capital City Kiwanis Foundation
c/o Melinda Stallworth, Scholarship Chair
Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama - 145 Coliseum Boulevard – Montgomery, AL 36109

Meet the Staff........Synethia Davis

Synethia Davis is the Independent Youth Consultant at Children’s Aid Society. She was in care from the age of 3-21 and aged out in 2011. As a kid and teenager, she was one to NEVER listen to authority. She was “supposed” to be one of the failures but I refused to be. In 2011, she joined the United States Army. Since aging out of foster care, she received an Associate Degree in biology and currently a junior at UAB working on a degree in criminal justice. One of Synethia’s favorite quotes is “Never let another person say you can never make it or that you will never be something in life. Let discouraging words be your motivation for success, because if I can do it you anybody can”.  To contact Synethia Davis email her at


Success Stories-David Ahlgren – Family Man and Organic Farmer

David Ahlgren – Family Man and Organic Farmer

If David Ahlgren hadn’t actually lived through it, you might suspect his life was the script for a movie. Raised on the island of Guam along with seven siblings, David was put into foster care at the age of 13 after his mother’s death. Among the dozens of placements he endured was over a year in a juvenile jail cell – not because he had committed any crime but because there were no other foster placements available. After he wrote letters to numerous U.S. government officials, he was abruptly sent to a foster home in Oklahoma. What did he know about Oklahoma? Only the few things he had learned from googling it online. And yet today at 30 he, his wife and two small children are growing a variety of organic, sustainable crops on 120 acres of land in rural Oklahoma. The boy from a tiny island has become a success story in Oklahoma. How did that happen?

Foster Care 2 Success played a large role, says David. Four years of scholarship money helped him get through the University of Central Oklahoma where he majored in Business Administration. “Thanks to the scholarship, I was able to not have a job other than getting through college,” he says. David was also one of the first two students to be brought to Washington by FC2S for a summer internship; in his case, in the office of Senator Mary Landrieu. “It opened my eyes to issues surrounding foster care,” he says. “You see the problem but you don’t see the many people who care about improving the system. It was like a coin flipped over. I saw that there are so many people standing firm fighting for my brothers and sisters in foster care.”

By: FC2S Staff


The Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parents Association would like to announce that they are accepting applications for the AFAPA scholarships.  Please advise any adopted or foster youth who are seniors in high school and planning to attend college or a vocational school and any adopted or foster youth 22 years old and younger and currently enrolled in college or vocational school to apply.  The scholarship application and instructions can be found at and must be submitted to:
                Mary Smith
                Post Office Box 16
                Titus, Alabama 36080
                No later than Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Is being resilient a decision?

James, a former foster youth who holds a master’s degree in social work, parallels his life with that of a half-brother who was in and out of jail, on drugs and involved in gang-related activities.
“It just makes me think,” said James, “we came from the same environment, but what was the transformative change that catapulted us to go on different trajectories?”
Unlike his half-brother, James chose to stay in foster care. He felt that this sometimes horrific route was better than an even worse home environment. Resiliency, to James, was a conscious decision.
So, what does it mean to be resilient? To have grit? There are books describing it, movies written about it, songs sung about it. I recently came across an article entitled “The Grit Factor” in the October 2014 issue of Golf Digest, of all places


National Human Trafficking Resource Center

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