Gatlinburg Bound

Gatlinburg Bound

On a sunny Saturday morning in March amid the fellowship and learning that usually takes place at Foster Parent Orientation, one young man was thinking of adventure in the great outdoors. 
The week before a Kentucky foster care youth named William turned 18, and immediately set out to find a way to Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with his fellow senior classmates at Menifee County High School. Senior trips are expensive, especially for kids who don’t have the usual family supports that afford such opportunities. Undeterred, William took advantage of a public foster parent orientation on March 16 to hold his own bake sale to raise the money that would help ensure that he could make good on a dream and a chance at white water rafting.

Inspired

Inspired by his time in the kitchen baking for the holidays with his foster mother, William reasoned that a bake sale would be a great starting point for funding his senior trip. William’s initiative to raise money charmed staff and parents alike, which meant he sold many delicious treats that Saturday afternoon. Although he still has a way to go before he has enough money, William is determined to reach his goal.

Compassionate

William’s resourcefulness isn’t the only great thing about him. He is also a very compassionate individual who goes out of his way to help others. William has been with the Little family for the past two years and has a great relationship with his case manager, Amanda Collins. She said, "During William’s bake sale, another one of our youth was struggling with some difficult feelings about being in foster care. I asked William if he could talk to her as someone she might relate to.”

Amanda said, "He introduced himself, shook her hand, asked her what her name was, and then shared his own story about how scared he was to come to foster care. He talked about how he has learned to deal with the challenges that sometimes come with living in foster care. For those of us watching, it was one of the most beautiful moments in our careers to have witnessed.”

Self-motivated

William exhibits a tenderness that is effortless and appreciated by many. He is interested in completing the food service program at Carl Perkins Vocational Training Center with plans to work in a school or hospital. His compassionate nature and self-motivating attitude will no doubt make this special young man a fast friend to everyone he meets.

Published 3.31.14 on http://neccokids.wordpress.com

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