Houston, Texas – June 29, 2017 – Today, Austin-based Upbring, one of Texas’ leading foster care and adoption services providers, will be recognized for the success of its BeREAL program by the Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) at its 34th Annual Conference on Services to Youth and Families. The conference is at the Westin Galleria – Houston, 5060 W. Alabama Street, and the awards presentation will take place during the luncheon from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
TNYOS will present Upbring with the Steve Wick Innovative Program Award (named after TNOYS’ founder), which recognizes “new, expanded or innovative programs that make significant contributions to the field of youth services in the state or across the nation.”
BeREAL is a supervised independent living program launched by Upbring in 2014. The program helps young men and women aging out of foster care grow into independent, thriving adults and contributing members of their communities.
Dr. Kurt Senske, CEO of Upbring, said of BeREAL, “The theme of this year’s TNYOS conference – Many Voices, One Song, speaks to the heart of the BeREAL program. Our generous donors, servant-hearted volunteers and strategic partners such as Goodwill Central Texas play a critical role in helping Upbring give these brave young people a head start on life after foster care. We are many voices singing one song, a song about young men and women who now have the chance to pursue the bright futures they deserve.”
Young adults aging out of foster care often have no permanent home or support system to lean on. Many become homeless or incarcerated within the first year. BeREAL sets them up for success by providing housing, food and clothing. But that is just the beginning.
BeREAL participants learn critical life skills such as managing their finances, shopping for groceries and cooking nutritious meals. They also benefit from education and career guidance, as well as permanent connections to caring adults who serve as mentors.
Youth services providers and administrators, youth, parents and other family members, community members and TNOYS partners, including the Texas Council on Child Welfare Boards and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, will be on hand for the awards luncheon. Upbring Senior Vice President of Program Operations Krystale Bezio will accept the Wick Innovative Program Award on Upbring’s behalf.
“BeREAL guides these young men and women during a critical transition in their lives,” Bezio said. “By giving them the resources they need to succeed, we empower them to create brighter futures for themselves and for their children. Ultimately, we advance Upbring’s mission to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities.”