Established in 2000, Mary Graham Children’s Foundation turns 20 years old on July 21, 2020. Looking back at 20 years, much has been accomplished. Starting in the late 1990’s, a small group of local concerned citizens came together to discuss building a new shelter for foster youth. The Foundation was launched, the Mary Graham Children’s Shelter was built, and the Foundation turned to enriching foster youth lives and providing scholarships for college and trade school. Today, the Foundation has provided over $1.6 million in scholarships to help over 160 emancipated foster youth while providing enrichment activities for youth currently in foster care.
At the heart of our story is the simple truth that all children should have a fair chance at success, that no child should have to beat the odds simply to get a good education, to live a productive life free from abuse and neglect and to pursue their dreams. And they certainly should not feel alone as they try.
A former Mary Graham scholarship recipient summed it up well remarking that he doesn’t believe that foster youth should be expected to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. We all have a commitment to children in our communities, and it’s in our ability to make positive change happen for children in foster care. He added that our foster children don’t belong to Stockton or San Joaquin County or the State. They belong to all of us.
Throughout the years, the support of many individuals, families, and businesses have had a tremendous impact on our outreach. This backing has made it possible for us to provide life-transforming opportunities for foster youth in our community.
Join us as we celebrate our anniversary milestone this year. And here’s to another 20 years championing youth from foster care to success.