June 2016

Her name is Virginia Grace, but she prefers to be called Grace. She's 14 and as you can tell by her photo here, she likes horseback riding. She also likes to play basketball and softball.

She likes school and gets As and Bs. She likes social studies because she gets "to learn about history that I wasn't here for." She works very hard to get good grades, in part because she says she doesn't want to disappoint her family or friends.

Even though she's a teen now, she still loves her stuffed animals. She has been on only one vacation, to Myrtle Beach, and would like to travel more, including to Paris.

Grace describes herself as quiet and respectful, but also sweet and bold.

She's hoping for a family that has pets and "one that treats me like their own."

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It's not about where you come from, but where you're going

In just a matter of days, more than 40 of our foster children will experience a celebration we hope they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, our 17 th annual Celebration of Dreams event will be held at 20 th Century Theater in Oakley. The event is a semi-formal celebration for the foster children in our care who have graduated high school this year.

For many, graduation was no certainty: they have been separated from their biological families, neighborhoods and schools and experienced a great number of stressful situations. They have overcome tremendous obstacles to get their diplomas and that deserves to be celebrated.

June 9 will be spent honoring them for their hard work and thanking those who have helped them along the way - caseworkers, mentors, court-appointed special advocates and guardian ad litems. The celebration includes semi-formal dress, a dinner, an inspirational speaker and rapper, music, certificates of achievement and gifts for the graduates.

COVE: Our workers doing good things

Did you know Hamilton County Job and Family Services has an awesome group of employees who volunteer in the community?

It's COVE, or Community Outreach Volunteer Effort. The group has done a lot of neat things - an ice cream social at Ronald McDonald House, for example.

We love that the group helps show off all the great people we have working here at HCJFS

Next up: The Talbert House Fatherhood Celebration, June 19. COVE will be there to help celebrate dads and families.

Our Heart Gallery photos travel the region

Our latest effort to recruit families for our kids who are waiting in foster care for permanency is off to a great start.

We unveiled our Heart Gallery - a collection of more than 50 photographs of kids in foster care - in March. Ever since, the photos have been in demand, appearing at a Reds game, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, at the United Way and Peterloon estate.

Soon, we'll be in the Cincinnati Public Schools' administration building.

We so appreciate the community's support in our search for more forever families. If you have a business other location where you think even a photo or two might fit, please consider emailing us. And check out our  Facebook page.