Community holds open house for foster youth graduates - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Valley's Promise holds open house for foster youth graduates

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

A graduation party was held Friday night for nine high school graduates who are in the foster care system.

It was held at the Brock Student Center on the campus of Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo.

For graduating seniors like Alea Slessor, the open house was a reminder of how many people care about her accomplishments.

"Starting high school, I didn't really think anybody cared," said Slessor. "And then gradually I kind of learned you know people do care and just seeing all these people...it's like wow, there's a lot of people that care. It's crazy!"

Slessor said she plans to attend LaJames and then go to the University of Northern Iowa to study special education.

Diane Derifield from Cedar Valley's Promise, helped organize the fourth annual graduation celebration.

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 they're already planning next year's event.

Anyone who wants to help can contact Cedar Valley's Promise at 319-291-2603 or 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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