Submitted photo courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
A local Shawano foster youth was honored for academic achievement recently at the Wisconsin Executive Residence.
Ryan VanNewKirk of Shawano was one of 27 graduates who were able to attend the celebration, representing the 82 foster youth throughout Wisconsin who reached commencement in the 2016-2017 school year.
The event featured Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker, who gave the keynote speech during the Department of Children and Families’ fifth annual Foster Youth Graduation Ceremony. She was joined by DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson and State Superintendent Tony Evers.
“This event is a heartwarming way to honor the accomplishments of these special graduates,” Walker said. “Foster youth often have faced significant trauma in their lives and frequently experience additional challenges during their academic journey, so it is my distinct privilege to be able to recognize these amazing and resilient young men and women. They serve as role models to other foster youth, and help to remind all of us about the power of perseverance.”
Nationally, only about 54 percent of foster youth will graduate from high school and only two percent will go onto college.