Graduation party scheduled for youth in foster care - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Graduation party scheduled for youth in foster care

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A graduation party has been scheduled for high school graduates who are in foster care. A graduation party has been scheduled for high school graduates who are in foster care.
WATERLOO (KWWL) -

A graduation party has been scheduled for high school graduates who are in foster care.

It will be held this Friday, May 10, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Brock Student Center on the campus of Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo.

"It's a great experience for youth who participate," said Kathy Berns, Transition Planning Specialist for the Iowa Department of Human Services.

"One youth last year commented that he couldn't believe so many people cared about his graduation. Little did he know that the Cedar Valley community does care about his future," said Berns.

Diane Derifield from Cedar Valley's Promise, a local nonprofit organization, has been stocking up on supplies and graduation gifts for the nine graduates who will be recognized on Friday.

Derifield said most kids in foster care are in the system through no fault of their own.

She said celebrating their accomplishments is priceless, particularly since many of them will age out of the foster care system and be on their own after high school graduation.

Derifield said the public is welcome and encouraged to attend Friday's event to show support for the graduates.

The event, which will include typical graduation refreshments like punch and cake, is fully funded by donations and volunteers.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Diane Derifield at Cedar Valley's Promise by calling 319-291-2603 or emailing dneebel@dhs.state.ia.us.

Additionally, donations can be made year-round by check made payable to the "Black Hawk Grundy Mental Health Center" with "Graduation Celebration" in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Cedar Valley's Promise at 1407 Independence Ave., Waterloo, IA 50703.

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