What Does Leadership Mean To You?

Recently we celebrated future leaders through Eckerd Kids' Project Bridge program in a special leadership luncheon. Select youth from Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee counties were chosen to receive this special recognition based on the leadership characteristics they have displayed throughout their time in the program.

Lives Transformed

It was a rainy day at Camp E-Nini-Hassee in mid-July, but that didn’t stop the girls at camp from singing their best songs for the guests visiting that day. The sounds of “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper and “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music filled the camp dining hall as the girls prepared for a special guest presentation. As their Director, Jo Lynn Smith, spoke to them she reminded the girls that all of the songs they sing have a purpose, and she told them all, “You are good, you are worthy, you all have a purpose!”

Shamykia is College Bound

Eckerd Kids is continuing its weekly blog series on foster children and former foster children who have achieved their high school or college diplomas this spring. Last week we heard from Kiana. Today learn the story of Shamykia a Blake High School graduate in Tampa, FL with big plans for the future!

Kiana Gradated Fivay High School with the help of Eckerd’s Fostering Education Initiative

Across the county, young adults are celebrating the culmination of years of hard work and determination in the form of a graduation ceremony! In honor of graduates, Eckerd Kids is sharing the stories of foster care and former foster care youth who have recently graduated from either high school or college. In part two of this series we met Eddie Harman from Pinellas County. This week we meet Kiana.

Reunification Story: Nelson

This month we celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 19th. For those of us lucky enough to have a father or father figure in our lives, we give thanks and celebrate. Fathers can be beacons of light and pillars of strength for those around them. Studies estimate that nearly one in three children live away from their biological fathers. Today we hear Nelson’s story from his previous struggles to his triumph of being a great father.

Eddie’s College Graduation

In honor of commencement season, Eckerd Kids is sharing the stories of foster children and former foster children who graduated this spring. Last week we learned the story of MyKeal. This week we hear from Eddie, who was homeless the first three years of his life and is now a college graduate with a bright future ahead of him!

Reunification Stories: Felicia

This is the third in our series we are calling "Reunification Stories." In it we hear from parents who have successfully complete the tasks necessary to make their homes safe so that they may be reunified with their children in foster care. On June 3rd, the Pasco County Court held a “Reunited” celebration in honor of the 217 families that have been reunited so far this year in Pasco. This is the story of Felicia and how she reunited with her two young daughters.

MyKeal a Mother of Two and a Recent Graduate

As young adults across the county are completing their diplomas over the next few weeks, Eckerd Kids is launching a new weekly series honoring foster children and former foster children who have graduated this spring. Today we hear the inspirational story of MyKeal who had to juggle high school, a part-time job, and her responsibilities as a mother of two young children.

Reunification Stories: Nicole

This is the second in our series we are calling "Reunification Stories." In it we hear from another parent who successfully completed the tasks necessary to make her home safe so that she may be reunified with her child. This is a speech a mother named, Nicole, gave on Hillsborough's Reunification Day Celebration. She told her personal story in front of dozens of other families, social workers and court officials, while sharing her joy about being able to bring home her 7 year old daughter, Danika.

Reunification Stories: Meghan

Each year in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties, hundreds of parents complete the tasks necessary to make their homes safe so that they may be reunified with their children. In honor of family reunifications, we have asked parents to share their stories. Below is Meghan's story she tells about being recently reunified with her children.