Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Senior Portrait Gift for Bay Area Foster Kids

Let's Take A Stand To Uplift Bay Area Foster Kids!
Contact us for Foster Care senior portrait gift

At the beginning of her term, newly elected mayor of Oakland CA, Jean Quan, made it a priority to help take back the youth of Oakland. These youth include foster children who have aged out or will be aging out of the system. This presents a problem to the Oakland community and Alameda County because these young people are experiencing hardships with their education. Statistics from Foster Youth Services have shown that above 70% of those in foster care are functioning below their grade levels and 50% have to repeat the same grade level for at least a year. All of these things have an impact on the graduation rates of these young people. It is not their fault!

As parents, public figures, community leaders and fellow residents, we have a responsibility on our hands. Due to many circumstances these children have had to be put into a system that is designed to take care of them until their families get better or until a family decides they want them. The situation in itself puts a toll on the foster youth and it contributes to the lack of progression in school. Many experience a lack of progression because of the lack of positive figures surrounding them. 

My mom, Cassandra Bailey, became a foster parent in 2009. From the beginning her objective has been to help foster children find their true potential, make positive changes in their lives and become successful. There's much negativity that surrounds many foster children, so having an outlet like a foster parent whose goal is to help you achieve success makes a great difference. My mother has had three foster kids within the last three years. Their stays have varied with the longest staying for 12 months. In that year she helped bring the young lady's self-esteem up, helped raise her GPA and encouraged her to pursue her passion as a veterinarian. As a foster parent my mom has been a positive influence to children in need.

Be a positive influence as well and help a foster child. You can help by becoming a foster parent, mentoring a foster child, or doing any other reasonable service that helps them become better citizens. All local businesses can contribute by going out and teaching foster youth about their professions, helping them to develop interests and passions pertaining to career goals. 

For the record, not all youth in foster care are struggling and that is a GREAT thing. Many have overcome the challenges in their lives and have gone to do wonderful things. We applaud those who have achieved success and encourage you to continue on. 
We have 100 Senior Portrait sessions available for
deserving Foster Care seniors

Let's raise the esteem of foster care youth and support them in becoming successful. Positive Images Photography will take part in this important cause and will help tell the stories of these young people through what is done best here; designing senior portraits. Positive Images wants to help by donating 100 senior portrait sessions and graduation photos to local  foster care 2012 high school seniors who are not able to afford them. Professional photographer, Gisele Bonds has been creating fabulous senior portraits for over 22 years and has a passion for telling the stories of teenagers through portrait art. 

During a recent interview on this topic, Ms. Bonds stated the following:

"Unfortunately prior to a senior portrait session, many young people have only been photographed by the school underclass photographer. This experience is usually rushed and an assembly line process which often results in pictures that can leave a youth feeling that they are unattractive. A senior portrait is an opportunity for a teen to tell the world who they are as they transition to adulthood. If done well, a graduation photograph can be self-affirming and give a boost of self-esteem to the student. It breaks my heart to think of a young person working hard to complete all the requirements of graduation and additionally beating the odds of the foster care system, yet being unable to capture that milestone with a senior portrait."

Interested foster care providers or students may schedule appointments by phoning (510)832-3686. You can view our Senior Portrait Gallery at 2012 Seniors can "Like" our Facebook Page for updates on scholarships, SAT preparation, college readiness, articles about positive Bay Area youth, and contests. 

If you or someone you know contributes to a foster child, please let us know what's being done by letting us know in the comment box below. For those of you who haven't gotten involved yet, it's not too late. Will you join in on the cause????

You can forward this Foster Care Senior Portraits Press Release to help spread the word.

By: LaStarr Moore
Positive Images Social Media Consultant

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