The Guardian Trust Foundation, Inc. has taken a lead role in honoring high-achieving youth in the state foster care system this year, the Florida Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Foundation announced Tuesday.
This is the second year the GAL Foundation will present its Triumph Awards – which include scholarship money and laptop computers – to youths represented by GAL volunteers in the state dependency courts. It’s also the second year Guardian Trust has been a key sponsor of the Awards.
But this year, thanks to the Trust’s bighearted gift of $25,000, the award amounts to the honorees will more than double, said Guardian ad Litem Foundation CEO Sonia Valladares.
“It’s an amazing opportunity, especially during these times when our seniors are missing out on their graduation ceremonies, proms, all those special things,” Valladares said.
The GAL Foundation is the non-profit arm of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program, which represents abused, abandoned and neglected children in dependency court. Travis D. Finchum, attorney and co-trustee of the Guardian Trust, considers it vital to honor young people who overcome such obstacles.
“We are honored to partner with the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation,” Mr. Finchum said. “Part of our mission is to support non-profit organizations that are directly providing advocacy and services to individuals in the community who may need some additional support to help them reach their full potential. We are inspired by the Award nominees and proud of their achievements.”
Established in 2002, Guardian Trust was created to help people with disabilities financially qualify for public assistance programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is one of the premier Special Needs Trust Administrators in the U.S. Mr. Finchum often collaborates with the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program, advising the staff and volunteers on how best to support children and youth who have disabilities and how to maximize public benefits that may be available.
“Guardian Trust has been an incredible partner,” said GAL Executive Director Alan Abramowitz. “We are so grateful to them.”
To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Foundation, visit www.flgal.org or call 1-850-922-7213.