Graduation Issue 2017
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Fostering Hope for 50 Years The Bair Foundation Child & Family Ministries has served over 250,000 children & teens since 1967. The Bair Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. More than 250,000 lives have been touched by the services of the Bair Foundation since our founder, Bill Bair, felt the call to start the ministry with his wife Marilyn supporting him every step of the way. Bill Bair heard the voice of God instruct him to quit his job to care for the children that God would bring. Bill Bair immediately took action. He quit his job, gave up his pension at the gas company, and started the Bair Foundation in 1967. The Lord provided every need and opened many doors as more and more children and teens were referred. The first Love Home (named because Marilyn’s maiden name was Love) was opened in 1967, and more homes quickly followed. All the children placed with the Foundation in the early years were teens. Bill said, “… families would rather work with younger children… However, the need is with the older misled child and we praise the Lord that strong Christian homes are available that can cope with the challenge of reshaping the lives of foster teens.” Over these 50 years, The Bair Foundation has grown from one “love” foster home to well over 1,100 homes, served by 35 offices in 9 states, acting as a “shelter in the time of storm.” Bill Bair retired in 1994 and passed away
The William Bair family at the first Bair Foundation “Love” foster home located at 565 W. Neshannock Ave. in New Wilmington, PA. Photo circa 1968. July 8, 2004, but his mission lives on. Although children of all ages are gladly served, special emphasis is placed on the tremendous need for homes for teens. We hold fast to the belief that teens deserve every opportunity to have restoration and permanency, if possible. Over 60% of our families have made the commitment to take a teen placement, providing an adult connection before they age out of care. Because we believe in our teenagers, we have created The Ed Massey, Jr. Scholarship fund so our kids can go on to higher education, and The Paul Smith Independent Living vehicle program to maintain their independence. To learn more about this amazing ministry that is changing lives or to become a foster parent to a child or teen, visit www.bair.org. Tax deductible donations can also be made online through our website, bair.org/donate or by check to The Bair Foundation Children’s Fund, 241 High St., New Wilmington, PA 16142.
From the Desk of Dr. Susan J. Miklos Executive Director Alysia Wilson
o dream big is a matter of choice. To reach that dream is a matter of drive and discipline. When I read the future plans of our graduates, I’m overflowing with pride. Our graduates are not only on the road to fulfilling their own dreams, but what is driving them is the passion and desire to help others. Through their chosen fields, physical therapy, nursing, pre-med and early childhood development, our graduates will be the future advocates for healthy lifestyles, family stability, and improving lives. What could be better than that?
Ladarius Johnson graduated from Groveton High School in Tyler, Texas, where he participated in Track and Basketball. He will be attending John Tyler Junior College to study nursing. Ladarius’ foster parents are James and Mary Curtis from Bair’s Tyler office.
Bair invests in our youth by fostering supportive environments where they can succeed. Our children are placed with families who encourage academic success, provide needed support and the opportunity to dream BIG! Even as they age out of the foster care system, many will stay connected to their foster families or case workers who will continue to encourage and pray for their success. So as our graduates dream big, work hard, and focus on their future, we applaud them for their tenacity and effort that will carry them through college and adulthood. Congratulations for all you have accomplished and on your future greatness. We know you will do amazing things.
Alysia Wilson graduated from Pickerington High School where she took Advanced Placement courses in English. She was active in the Diversity Club and worked as a lifeguard. Alysia is a Bair Scholarship recipient plans to attend Xavier University to major in pediatric nursing. In March 2017 she was adopted by her foster parents, Scott & France Wilson, from Bair’s Columbus office.
Ladarian Johnson graduated from Groveton High School in Tyler, TX and plans to attend John Tyler Junior College. Ladarion’s foster parents are James and Mary Curtis from Bair’s Tyler office.
Kimisha Williams graduated from Mifflin High School, where she was on the honor roll and had perfect attendance. She participated in cheerleading, volleyball, basketball, softball and the therapeutic art program & school plays. Kimisha is a Bair Scholarship recipient and plans to attend Columbus State Community College to study Early Childhood Education. Her foster parents are Ray & Nichele Scott from Bair’s Columbus office.
Ja’Mario Brown graduated from Widnham High School where he participated in football, basketball and track. He enjoys sports and plans to study Physical Therapy. Jamario hopes to become an athletic trainer. Jamario is a Bair Scholarship recipient and plans to attend the University of Akron in the fall. His foster mom is Nancy Cline from Bair’s Kent office.
Congratulations to the 2017 Ed Massey, Jr. Scholarship Recipients: Laura Beale Ja’Mario Brown
Brook Smith Stevenson
Brook Smith-Stevenson graduated with distinguished honors from Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, PA. She has participated in the Junior Achievement program and took Advanced Placement and Honors classes. She is a Bair Scholarship recipient and plans to attend Duquesne University’s Bayer School of Natural & Environmental Sciences to major in Bio Chemistry . She then wants to pursue medical school to become an OBGYN or Fertility Specialist. Her foster mom is Charon Phillips from Bair’s Harrisburg office.
Jesus Schink Brook Smith-Stevenson Lakishana Spencer Kimsha Williams Alysia Wilson
Mary Coaxum graduated from North Charleston High School. She plans to attend Furman University to study Neuroscience. Her foster mom is Corona Calvary from Bair’s Charleston office.
Lakishana Spencer graduated from Midlothain High School. She plans to attend John Tyler Junior College to study Visual Arts and become a Photographer. Lakishana is a Bair Scholarship Recipient. Her foster parents are Joe and Cheryl Carpenter from Bair’s Richmond office.
Cordelia Maria Zarib Doherty graduated from Deep Creek High School. She plans to attend Tidewater Community College for two years and then enter the Navy. Her long term goal is to become a nurse and pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Cordelia’s foster mom is Monica Basemore from Bair’s Virgina Beach office.
In addition to holding them up in prayer weekly, The Bair Foundation sends off our senior graduates with the Word of God and a $25 Amazon gift card. Pictured above are Brook Smith-Stevenson and Kimisha Williams with their graduation gifts.
Investing in The Future
nstead of focusing on the depressing statistics that plague youth who age out of foster care, we choose to celebrate our successes and share these encouraging words from our graduates and scholarship recipients.
“My name is Jesus. I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I recently turned 21 years old and I am currently a junior studying Psychology and Philosophy at the University of New Mexico with a 3.13 GPA. I have been pursuing postsecondary education for 3 years. I hope in sharing my story that I can inspire others who can relate to the feelings of rejection & stigma that comes from being in foster care. My experience in college has proved to be quite challenging. Despite having to manage my life with the burden of mental health disorders, I have maintained over a 3.0 GPA average throughout college, something that makes me proud. My experience in college has not been traditional. I have been homeless. Now I own my own home. I have made and lost a number of friendships, failed and aced exams, and I am driven to pursue my education. Most importantly, I have had an amazing opportunity to become the individual that I have always dreamed I would become. I have come to learn in my experience that small decisions can have a large impact. Applying to the Bair Foundation Edward B. Massey, Jr. Scholarship is an example of one of those decisions. It has given me an opportunity to live a more valuable life through the opportunity of academia.” - Jesus Schink “Foster Care has affected my life in many ways. I am much stronger emotionally, more independent and able to adapt to different situations. My education at Ohio State University means the world to me. It has given me so many opportunities to do what I want in my life. I have learned to have empathy for others and help those in need. I have learned to be someone of integrity and honesty. I strive to achieve my goals every day and won’t stop until I have made something of myself. Thank you Bair Foundation for always supporting me.” - Laura Beale
“STUDY while others are sleeping, WORK while others are loafing, PREPARE while others are playing and DREAM while others are wishing.” - William Arthur Ward
And these inspiring words… “I am a foster child and have been in the system for many years. Luckily I was blessed with a big beautiful family who cares for me and my sister. While in high school, I realized that I had the potential to do something after I graduated. Not only did I see it in myself, but so did other people such as, my foster parents, coaches, and teachers. I want to become an athletic trainer to use my communication skills and athletic ability to help others succeed in reaching their goals. Foster care has given me a second chance to grow up and realize that I can be a successful person.” - Jamario Brown Thanks to our funders who share a common vision to invest in the education and well-being of our young people and to improve the lives of our youth transitioning into adulthood. Your financial support helps us deepen the impact and effectiveness in our ministry.
The Bair Foundation is Happy to Announce...
of Bair High School Seniors Have Been Accepted to Higher Education in 2017.
241 High Street, New Wilmington, PA 16142 (800) 543-7058