BENEFITING: YOU GOTTA BELIEVE THE OLDER CHILD ADOPTION & PERMANENCY MOVEMENT
EVENT DATE: APR 01, 2017
DAYS TO GO: 25
Think of yourself now as a teenager or back to when you were a teenager. What are you or were you like? Funny, mouthy or quiet, full of dreams – and attitude, bright, maybe even brilliant?
Now imagine yourself, left to navigate the world without your family. Picture yourself without years of parental guidance. Without Thanksgiving holidays with family. Without Mom or Dad to call on when times were rough. Without anyone believing that you could be the person you want to be, the person you are today.
Thousands of youth who leave foster care face adulthood completely on their own. They are asked to step out into the adult world without a support system to help them negotiate life’s challenges – in one of the most expensive, and stressful cities in the world.
Teens Gotta Believe is an annual basketball fundraiser held at North Shore High School, founded by a student, Ryan O'Day and run by high school students in support of older youth in and aging out of foster care through the You Gotta Believe Organization. All proceeds go to the You Gotta Believe organization.
Ryan O'Day is an 18-year-old senior at North Shore High School with a special love for the game of basketball. During his junior year, after reading the New York Times bestseller "Etched in Sand" by New Suffolk attorney and author Regina Calcaterra, depicting her childhood of abuse, homelessness and foster care on Long Island, he learned about the challenges facing youths in foster care. He was moved to act and decided to lend a hand - and a few feet - to do what he could to help. So, Ryan organized a day filled with basketball, music, and a lot of fun, to raise awareness. "Teens Gotta Believe" was founded to help raise funds for the Coney Island-based "You Gotta Believe," a non-profit whose mission is to assist older youths in foster care find permanent, adoptive families before they age out. It's never too late for family!
"I decided to take something I love, basketball, and combine it to create this event. This is for a really great cause that I truly believe in and I am hoping others can believe in it too."