Champions

Finding Their Forever Family

“Mr. Britt is unique,” reflected UMFS Family Support Specialist Melissa Lee. Michael Britt is a single father who created a loving home for his son Corjah, 14. In 2014, he got a call that would change his life, and dramatically expand his family.

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Charterhouse School Culinary Students: Changing Lives One Dish at a Time

The menu for today is rack of lamb served with roasted asparagus, glazed carrots and quinoa, with a berry trifle for dessert. You might think you’re dining in a five star restaurant, but this menu was developed and prepared by the UMFS Charterhouse School culinary students.

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Mark Smith: Creating a Bright Future for Himself

MARK SMITH has been working hard to create a bright future for himself. “I don’t want to be another statistic,” he reflects.

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Volunteer Rallies Community to Support High-Risk Kids

Ann Baker first connected with UMFS through her church in 2002, but her passion for serving highrisk children dates back to her experience working as an art teacher for a junior high school in North Carolina in 1975. “In those days, schools were at a low point in serving kids with disabilities,” Ann remembers.

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It’s Never Too Late for a Forever Family

On a Sunday morning this past spring at a small Methodist church 21-year-old Andrea stepped up to the pulpit to read an open letter from a mother about her children. Deliberately, Andrea read the mother’s words: “I was the last person you’d think would become a foster parent. I was successful, middle-aged, the mother of […]

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Charterhouse School Student Shares His Voice

WHEN HE WAS IN FIRST GRADE, Alex’s principal would send him to a converted storage closet called the crisis room—a lot. Alex would get 30 minutes in the crisis room for standing on a chair in class. Tearing papers in class warranted hours in the crisis room. School staff never told Alex’s parents when they […]

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Building Bridges Out of Poverty

Download full newsletter BRENDA MOSS WORKED ALL her life in Lynchburg, Virginia to support her three sons and one grandson. Over the years she worked as a nursing and medical assistant, a sales person for a large retailer, a factory worker and a line worker at a paper mill. She had always wanted to pursue a […]

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A Champion for LGBT Youth

IMAGINE FOR A MINUTE that you’re a teenager. Imagine not being able to sleep at night because you’re terrified of going to school the next day where you know you’ll be bullied—again. Amidst the repeated bullying from your peers, you’re expected to focus on learning algebra, history and planning for life after high school.

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Becoming a champion for LIFE

SOPHIA BOOKER HEARD about Project LIFE for the first time in 2010 when a friend invited her to a youth advisory council meeting where teens in foster care discuss shared challenges and ways to improve the system. “I just wanted to hang out with one of my friends who had planned to attend—I had no idea that this would become a permanent connection in my […]

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Above and far beyond

AS AN ADOPTION SPECIALIST with UMFS’ Adoptive Family Preservation program, Michael Staton’s job is to help adoptive families weather crises in their lives. But Michael sees it a little differently. To him, his job is to empower families to make their own decisions — good decisions — that will help them find their own solutions […]

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