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The program is a collaboration between Guardian ad Litem volunteers and Department of Elder Affairs' Hope Heroes. The mentors will work with Hope Navigators from the Department of Children and Families to guide youth on a pathway to a promising future.
At the recent Hope Solution event hosted by First Lady Casey DeSantis, Executive Director Dennis W. Moore and Secretary Shevaun Harris participated in a roundtable discussion with teens about the importance of mentorship for Florida's most vulnerable children.
Statewide Guardian ad Litem Executive Director Dennis W. Moore said, "Implementing the Hope Florida model and providing mentorship opportunities will allow us to help even more youth succeed. I thank our First Lady for her leadership and continued support for Florida's most vulnerable children."
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Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris added, "This initiative enhances the state's efforts for foster youth by providing guidance, motivation and role modeling. Agencies working together to support our foster youth give them more opportunities to achieve success into adulthood."
Rayla James, Guardian ad Litem CHAMPION and former foster youth shared her experience saying, "I had two influential people who worked with me in foster care...He has been there for me and shown me true love and support unlike any of my biological family members."
Hope Florida is an initiative created by First Lady DeSantis that utilizes Hope Navigators to guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity and economic self-sufficiency by focusing on community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based community, non-profits and government entities. These Hope Navigators are essential in helping individuals identify their unique barriers to prosperity, develop long-term goals, map out a strategic plan and work to ensure all sectors of the community have a 'seat at the table' to be part of the solution. In addition, they help identify volunteer opportunities for Floridians who wish to help their neighbors by connecting them with mentorship opportunities.
First Lady Casey DeSantis said about the program: "While youth aging out of foster care were part of the original Hope Florida launch, we wanted to further bolster resources for these kids through a Pathway to Promise." She added that this initiative provides "foster youth with a supportive adult...who will serve as a committed, caring adult as the youth transitions into adulthood."
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