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Florida’s Children First Honors Local Foster Care Advocates at Annual Palm Beach Event; CBS 12’s Liz Quirantes, Jim and John Walsh Among Honorees

October 6th, 2012   No Comments   Advocacy

West Palm Beach, Fla. – Florida’s Children First (FCF), a statewide children’s advocacy organization, honored several Palm Beach County individuals for their efforts on behalf of foster children and other at-risk youth at its awards event this week, held at the Phillips Point Club in West Palm Beach.

More than 75 people attended this year’s FCF Palm Beach Reception on Oct. 4, which is an annual gathering of community leaders, attorneys, former foster children and others concerned about Florida’s foster care system. The event recognized five individuals from throughout the county including: Jim and John Walsh, CBS 12’s Liz Quirantes, Francis Jeune and Na’Kira Hodges.

Jim and John Walsh were recognized as this year’s “Children’s Advocates.” They serve as co-supervisors of the Foster Children’s Project of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. They also helped create the project, which represents foster children with a focus on permanency.

Prominent news woman of the Palm Beaches Liz Quirantes of WPEC CBS 12 received the “Media Advocate” award. Liz is passionate about helping children and a great supporter of Forever Family, a non-profit organization that advocates for youth in foster care with a goal of connecting a foster child with a family. Every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on CBS 12, Liz brings viewers a Forever Family story, spotlighting one child at a time.

Foster care graduates Francis Jeune and Na’Kira Hodges were honored as “Youth Advocates.” Francis, who entered foster care in June 2007 at the age of 13, always sets a positive example. He was a model resident at the Haven and earned the “Outstanding Resident” of his cottage award on several occasions. He is also a member of Florida Youth SHINE, a statewide youth driven, peer led organization that empowers current and former foster youth to become advocates for all youth in care.

Na’Kira Hodges’s story of determination after aging out of foster care is the reason for her nomination. She aged out without a high school diploma or driver’s license and quickly became homeless. However, through all of her struggles she persevered and is now secretary of the Palm Beach Florida Youth SHINE chapter.

Florida’s Children First holds similar events around the state, including upcoming events in Orlando on October 17, 2012 and in Jacksonville on November 15, 2012. For more information on these upcoming events or to learn more about FCF please call 954-796-0860 or email fcf@floridaschildrenfirst.org. You can also visitwww.floridaschildrenfirst.org .

About Florida’s Children First


Florida’s Children First, Inc. (FCF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the legal rights of at-risk children, especially those in Florida’s foster care system. FCF gives these children a powerful voice before all levels of government, including the court system if needed. FCF was founded by child advocates from around the state so that efforts can be coordinated, strengthened and built into a powerful statewide force for Florida’s children.

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