News & Events
Local Leaders' Impact on Foster Care System
Stephen A. Basile | President
KAB Foster A Dream Foundation
The Devereux Community Based Care Board of Directors recognized several local business leaders last month during a special reception honoring those whose contributions have positively impacted the local foster care system.
Those recognized include Guardians for New Futures, the Kathryn A. Basile Foster a Dream Foundation, the Albert Wilson Foundation, Florida Community Bank and Minton Law, P.A.
“Together, these five groups contributed more than $76,000 in time, resources and donated goods,” said Christina Kaiser, community relations director for Devereux CBC, the non-profit organization that oversees child-welfare services in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.
Steven Basile, CEO of the Kathryn A. Basile Foster a Dream Foundation, is recognized by Devereux Community Based Care Board of Directors. (Photo: Christina Kaiser/For Luminaries)
Contributions range from coordinating large-scale Christmas drives and specialty camps for local children to funding projects that help youth in foster care transition into independence, Kaiser said.
“This is more than simple donation,” she said. “What these five offer is partnership – something sustainable and that has had a significant impact on our system of care.”
The Kathryn A Basile Foster a Dream Foundation, for example, established a grant program to ensure that young people in foster care have the opportunity to visit college campuses, purchase laptops and order senior pictures, graduation gowns and other school-related items.
FOUNDATION DONATES $10,000 TO FOSTER DREAMS
Steve Basile, right, presents the Kathryn A. Basile Foster a Dream award to Road to Success Program staff Miracle Thomas and Chris Martinez. Vero Beach – The Kathryn A. Basile Foster a Dream Foundation awarded Devereux Community Based Care $10,000 today, increasing its support of teens and young adults in foster care for the second year in a row.
The award represents a 33 percent increase over last year and a 66 percent increase from the previous year. It will be used to pay for high-school graduation expenses, college campus visits and other costs associated with making the transition into independence.
“Foster a Dream normalizes the foster-care experience and creates incentives for academic achievement,” said Chris Martinez, supervisor for Devereux Community Based Care’s Road to Success program, which prepares young people for life after foster care. “More and more youth are choosing to go to college, and they need Foster a Dream to help pay for expenses – the increased gift will help us stay on top of demand.”
In fact, 38 percent more young people accessed the fund this year than the previous year, Martinez said. And more than 90 percent of those clients accessed it for the first time, demonstrating an increased awareness of the fund. Following is a breakdown of how the fund was used:
25 percent accessed the fund for high-school graduation expenses
21 percent accessed the fund for college-related expenses
30 percent purchased computers
13.6 percent accessed the fund to pay for move-in and other apartment-related expenses
Kathryn A. Basile, for whom the foundation is named, believed that any child in foster care could find success with the right support, her brother and Foundation President Steve Basile said.
“She had a very special place in her heart for foster kids, and Foster a Dream provides the means to continue her work in a very meaningful way,” he said.
Since the foundation was created in 2010, Foster a Dream has contributed more than $45,000 and helped more than 70 teenagers and young adults in foster care.
The grant is used for college-bound, high-school seniors to participate in activities like homecoming, prom and Grad Night and to purchase items like class rings, yearbooks, caps and gowns and senior class shirts. The grant also has been used to purchase laptop computers for incoming college freshman and has allowed local youth interested in advocating on behalf of children in foster care to travel to Tallahassee and Washington D.C. to participate in legislative events.
“Aging out of foster care, heading to college – that’s a really stressful time,” said Miracle Thomas, youth worker in the Road to Success Program. “Knowing you have those funds in place to help pay for something like a computer takes a lot of the pressure off.”
Kathy's Foundation Honored to Add The Michael Caso Scholarship Program
Sadly, Michael Caso passed away in March of 2016.. Mike was a very dear, lifelong friend of the Basile family. He and his beautiful wife Brianne have been avid supporters of Kathy’s Foundation since its inception in 2009.
Over 40 very generous donations were received in Michael’s honor, coming from many loved ones; family, friends and colleagues. This outpouring of love and generosity inspired us to establish an annual scholarship program in Mike’s name. We are pleased to announce the creation of “The Michael Caso Scholarship Program”. Initially, five $1,000 scholarships will be granted to young adults in foster care who enroll in educational and training programs to become a licensed electrician like Michael was.
The Michael Caso Scholarship will be a permanent offering of the Foundation.
We hope you will continue to think of Michael and these young adults living in Foster Care when you make your annual donations. All donations are tax deductible and 100% of it goes directly to the children, teens & young adults.
THE ROAD TO SUCCESS PROGRAM SHINING
So exciting to put a face to our success stories! This is just one story we are very proud of! Anthony benefited from Kathy's Foundation and look where he is today! A HUGE thank you to all of you who continue to support Kathy's Foundation!!! Devereux Community Based Care is proud of its Road to Success program and of its many success stories. Anthony Williams is one of those success stories. Anthony, who will graduate with his AA from Santa Fe College in December, recently received an acceptance letter to the University of Florida. He will start at UF in January 2016 and will pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Your donations are truly making wonderful things happen!