There is so much happening. 1) It is so amazing just how much can be done when you set your mind to it. We are continuing our workshops this summer but we have added to our plate. We will be hosting a major event, a conference for older youths, on July 22nd. It is a lot of work but it will be so worth it. We have to just keep walking (stepping out on faith) and moving and trusting and believing and it will all come together. Our strength comes from the Lord. 2) We were able to provide 46 Gifts for Grads to the youths who attended the PAL Graduation Event. This was one of the biggest groups of graduates and their families/guests that we have seen since we have attended this event. Pastor Adam Zarb-Cousins addressed the graduates and encouraged them to be all that God intends them to be. We were able to fulfill the wishes of the 20 youths who returned their Prepare-A-Youth wish lists; their requests ranged from new clothes and shoes to microwaves/dorm refrigerators. This was the first year for this program but one that we hope will continue. 3) We are blessed by those who encourage us and supplement our efforts: the Children's Court Attorney Association decided to provide a monetary gift to several of this year's graduates (those who worked particularly hard for Team YTIA). Thanks, CCAA and Mary Kay Delavan (who spear-headed this effort), for your generosity. And, we keep moving forward!
Mary E. Valdez is one of the co-founders of YTIA, an attorney with an interest in (hopefully) making things a little bit better.