LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) recently recognized 112 youth in the foster care system who graduated from high school at its third annual Educational Recognition Luncheon.
“We are proud of our graduates,” said DCFS Director Cecile Blucker. “They have overcome a great deal in life. I am excited we have so many graduates who have plans to go for higher education, and some are looking at the military as an option. These graduates have future plans and a lot of life experiences that will help them become successful in their endeavors.”
Doug Cantrell, the CEO and part owner of the New Golf of Castle Valley Golf Course and Country Club in South West Little Rock, gave the keynote address. Cantrell spent much of his youth in Tennessee’s foster care system.
He encouraged the graduates to continue their education, follow their dreams and not allow any circumstance to hold them back.
About 200 people attended the luncheon, including youth in foster care, foster parents, teachers, clergy and DCFS staff. They lauded the accomplishments of these young Arkansans.
Youth Advisory Board President Sedella White also spoke. White urged audience members to learn about the obstacles people have overcome before making a judgment about them based on their age or background.
Fifty-two graduates of the class of 2011 attended the luncheon held May 25. They received a certificate and other items acknowledging their hard work during the event.
For more information on foster care in Arkansas, go to http://www.fosterarkansas.org