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March 28, 2023

Kinship awards scholarships, recognizes Foster Family Appreciation Month

Courtesy of Gabilan Chapter Kinship Center:

Each year, Gabilan Chapter Kinship Center offers two scholarship programs. One is the William Medeiros, Jr. Memorial Scholarship that is awarded to a student who has joined a San Benito County family by adoption or foster care and will be attending a two- or four-year college, university, or technical school. We are pleased to announce that a scholarship of $1,500 was awarded to a deserving young student to pursue an Associate Degree in Psychology.

The other scholarship is the Gabilan Chapter Kinship Center Scholarship that is awarded to a San Benito County resident currently in high school or college, has been in foster care or is planning on entering the field of Child Psychology, Social Work, or Early Childhood Development. We are very pleased to award three scholarships this year, one for $1,500 to a student who will be pursuing a degree in Pediatric Oncology, and a $1,000 scholarship each to two students who have been in the foster care system and are continuing their education.

All of our recipients overcame major life obstacles but persevered; obstacles that included homelessness, language barriers and abuse.  When we read what these young men and women were able to overcome, we were so honored to help them pursue their bright futures.  

Foster Family Appreciation

May is Foster Family Appreciation Month. This is when we take the opportunity to thank our foster families for all they do. It takes special people to provide the love and care to children that are in a difficult situation.  Our foster families are those special people and we can’t thank them enough for the invaluable service they provide to our most vulnerable population.

Traditionally, Gabilan Chapter Kinship Center hosts a dinner in May to recognize and thank our San Benito County foster families. With the restrictions in place this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were not able to host the dinner. Instead, the Chapter sent a letter of thanks with a $100 gift card to 20 County and Kinship Center foster families serving San Benito County, giving them the opportunity to enjoy a meal-to-go when it was convenient for them.

Gabilan Chapter Kinship Center also has grant funds available to our foster families through the Gabilan Enrichment Fund. This provides supplemental funding to help with a variety of educational and other needs that parents may not be able to afford. Through this grant program, we have helped send a teen to youth camp, an eighth grader to their class trip to Washington DC, purchased Disneyland gift cards for a family taking four foster siblings to Disneyland, and funded a bicycle for a young adult for exercise for health reasons.

Gabilan Chapter has been raising funds to support Kinship Center for the past 35 years. Our mission is to support children and families in San Benito County during the most difficult times of their lives. Kinship Center is a member of Seneca Family of Agencies and is dedicated to the creation, preservation and support of foster, adoptive and relative families for children who need them. Kinship Center has continued to work nonstop to ensure that more children find their “forever families.”

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, call (831) 455-9965 for more information.