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Graduation 2018

Blessed for Success Mikayla Slaydon San Augustine High School Valedictorian & 2018 Presidential Scholar She was born to stand out! Mikayla is an amazing student and accomplished young woman. She graduated from San Augustine High School in San Augustine, Texas in May and will be attending Texas A & M University in the fall to study biochemistry. In addition to graduating as the Valedictorian of her senior class, Mikayla has already earned 24 college credits. She took a number of Advanced Placement classes, including Honors Physics! She has been active in student life, participating in Student Council, band, the National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society and the Interact Club. She was Senior Class President. She’s received a number of honors for musicianship. She was French horn section leader in the band throughout high school, as well as president of the band. Mikayla was a regional qualifier in the University Interscholastic League competitions.

She participated in several leadership opportunities outside the school, as well, including Junior Chamber of Commerce, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership and Texas Girls’ State. In June, Mikayla visited Washington D.C. as a 2018 Presidential Scholar. She was nominated for this honor by her principal and guidance counselor. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually, based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Out of 5,200 candidates, only 161 students were chosen. Mikayla states her ultimate goal is to help people in any way she can with her love of math and science. We look forward to seeing lives changed by this future doctor.




Insights from Dr. Sue Miklos

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

High school graduation is so inspiring. It’s a time to look ahead at the blank slate of the future, just waiting to be written upon with adventures, relationships, career, and travels. While looking to the future with excitement, it’s also important to reflect on the past in order to take on new challenges and opportunities with confidence & resolve. When you look back, you can realize just how far you’ve come. You can reflect on the good memories you have had, the friends you have made and remind yourself that you are on a mission.

Tyler Grone

Aramus graduated from Marlington High School and plans to expand his passion for cooking by attending the Culinary Institute. Aramus’ foster parents are Bobby & Amber Greenwald from Bair’s Kent office.

Aramus Kay

When I think of our graduates, a word that immediately pops into my head is tenacity. Tenacity is a noun meaning “the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly”. It’s reaching your goals through persistence, determination, perseverance, doggedness, strength of purpose, tirelessness, and resolution. Each of our graduates, although their road was not smooth, held on tightly to their dreams, focused on the goal of finishing high school and looked forward with anticipation to a future filled with hope and possibility. Many of our youth are going on to college or a technical school with plans of becoming a doctor, a nurse, fireman and social workers. Each one with unique gifts, aspires to make a difference in this world because they choose to be victors and not victims. With Bair staff and foster families encouraging them through relationship and prayer, the sky is the limit for these graduates.

Jeff graduated from Carolina Forest High School. He is known for his sense of humor and lightheartedness. He plans to enter the work force in retail or working with animals. Jeff ’s foster parents are Judy & Don Dieder from Bair’s Charleston office.

Jeffrey McCollum

Valarie graduated from Aubrey High School and loves fashion, make-up and doing hair. She plans to attend a local cosmetology school to further her skills. Valerie’s foster mother is Cynde Hauser from Bair’s Dallas office.

As they move toward their future with tenacity, I pray they will allow themselves to dream big, to pursue excellence, to stay determined to achieve every goal they set and to change the world for the better. Congratulations class of 2018. What an amazing accomplishment!

Tyler graduated from River Rock Academy - Newville Campus and has plans to attend Shippensburg University to study journalism or social work. Tyler’s foster parents are Dannielle Bersito & John Frey from Bair’s Harrisburg office.

Valarie Mendoza valerie Mendoza

Walter graduated from George Junior Republic where he had been on the honor roll. Walter wants to be a fireman or a police officer so he can help others.

Walter Pardee

2018 (Graduates not pictured)

Larry graduated from Diamond Hill Jarvis High School, and plans to enter the armed forces and serve in the Army. Larry’s foster parents are Jose & Beatrice Garcia from Bair’s Dallas office.

Trinity Anderson, Richmond, VA Aaron Bayne, Jr., York, PA Antonio Hill, VA Beach, VA David Kline, Richmond, VA Jonathan Kopenhavior, Harrisburg, PA Giovanni Tejeda, Harrisburg, PA

2018 Ed Massey, JR. Scholarship Recipients

Larry Phelps

Briana graduated from Alto High School and has been accepted into three colleges. She plans to study behavioral & clinical psychology with an ultimate goal of achieving her Master’s in Social Work. Briana’s foster mother is Kara Douglas from Bair’s Tyler office.

Briana Wheeler

Clayton graduated from Susquehanna High School. His plans include attending Harrisburg Community College for one year before heading to a university where he will major in liberal arts and play lacrosse. Clayton’s foster parents are Thomas and Vicki Lynch from Bair’s Harrisburg office.

Clayton Rogers

Class of

Jesus Schink Albuquerque, NM University of New Mexico Psychology & Philosophy Alysia Wilson Columbus, OH Xavier University Nursing

of Bair Seniors have been accepted to a college, trade school or will serve in the armed forces

Why The Ed Massey, Jr. Scholarship is important to our Success...

Kinard Jarvis Sabree graduated from West Wood High School and will be attending South Carolina State University for educational counseling, and has plans to enter the military and go to school for his doctorate in psychology. Kinard’s foster father is Christopher Breeden from Bair’s Columbia office.

2018 Recipients Share their Stories

Alesia Wilson

Alesia Wilson is attending Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she is majoring in Nursing.

Nursing school has been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever been through. I am lucky to have this opportunity of being in a program that holds holistic and Jesuit values that align very similarly to my own values. Xavier University has taught me to challenge things I’ve learned, to care for others in ways I’ve never thought of before, to be aware of the social injustices occurring everywhere around the world and in our nation and so many other life changing things. This program has taught me that change can happen with just one person and that I can make a difference with my role as a nurse. Nursing has been my dream since high school, and I feel lucky and blessed that I have this educational opportunity. Thank you for the Bair Scholarship. It will relieve a financial burden of worrying so I can continue to stay in the program. Without the experience of foster care, I would never have had felt this loved or been where I am today. My foster care experience with The Bair Foundation has led me to be thankful for everything and appreciate the little things people do for me.

Kinard Jarvis Sabree Nathan Council graduated from West Wood High School and will be attending a local trade school. Nathan’s foster father is Christopher Breeden from Bair’s Columbia office.

Nathan Council

Jesus Schink

Jesus Schink is attending the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he is double majoring in Psychology & Philosophy.

First, I would like to begin addressing how foster care has impacted my life. Over the years since I have aged out, my perspective on life has changed. The inconsistencies that I have experienced as a child have led to many deficits that I have had to overcome including homelessness and turmoil. This, however has given me insights and solutions I might not otherwise have and enabled me to share with others. Secondly, I love academics and I am grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me. Since I began my college education, I have spent time with The New Mexico Child’s Advocacy Network to develop my advocacy skills. I am able to address issues that are commonly faced in the child protective services, treatment foster care, and the juvenile justice system.

I am currently a double major in psychology and philosophy at the University of New Mexico. Thoroughly involved in campus life, I’m an educational peer mentor for the Men of Color and a volunteer for Student Special Events. I am the treasurer for The Lobo Life, a student organization that focuses on exploration of New Mexico! I am currently studying for the Graduate Records Exams as well as attending various conferences for psychology and networking for doctoral programs for clinical or addiction psychology. I strive to promote higher education, life skills, and psycho-education in hopes of reducing the crisis experienced by youth, increasing self empowerment and expanding resources to the juvenile justice system. In conclusion, thank you Bair Foundation for allowing me the opportunity to experience post secondary education and all the wonderful things that go with it.

The Bair Foundation National Office 241 High Street, New Wilmington, PA 16142 (800) 543-7058

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Profile for The Bair Foundation

Graduation 2018 Newsletter  

The Bair Foundation is proud to announce the graduates from our offices for 2018! Congratulations to everyone, including Valedictorian and P...

Graduation 2018 Newsletter  

The Bair Foundation is proud to announce the graduates from our offices for 2018! Congratulations to everyone, including Valedictorian and P...

Profile for bair

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