Tyler Youth in Foster Care Celebrate Back-to-School

BCFS Health and Human Services hosts annual trip to encourage youth to stay in school

BCFS Health and Human Services celebrated the end of summer with 90 youth, enjoying a day of rollercoasters, zip lines and boat rides at Kemah Boardwalk for its third annual Back-to-School Bash on Friday, July 31. BCFS operates a resource center in Tyler that serves youth in and aging out of foster care, as well as other young adults facing challenges like homelessness, poverty, or those recovering from physical and emotional abuse. The center is a “one-stop shop” that provides counseling, case management, and assistance with education, employment, housing location and medical care.
Each year, the agency organizes an annual Back-to-School Bash as a reward for youth who have stayed in school, focused on their schoolwork and participated in BCFS programs and events throughout the year geared toward keeping them on a solid path toward success and independence.
“This event celebrates the accomplishment of the youth completing the year, and gets them excited and geared up to go into the next school and program year with us,” explains BCFS director Carla McCalope.
“We update the youth on programming available at the center for the coming school year, too. Our motto with the youth is ‘Stay Connected,’ and the Back-to-School Bash helps us do just that.”
BCFS works with youth in and aging out of foster care, and those at-risk of facing challenges such as homelessness, poverty, abuse, or neglect. Statistically, youth in foster care are less likely to excel in school, graduate high school or go to college. McCalope says the Back-to-School Bash is also a way to encourage the high school juniors and seniors in attendance to discuss and prepare plans for college.
Community partners that supported the Back-to-School Bash include BCFS, 4Imprint, Zion Temple, Chuck’s Travel, CiCi’s Pizza and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.