After the last two years of holding concerts at The Rustic and virtually the year before (2020), Dallas CASA is returning to its pre-pandemic format of holding its Champion of Children Award Dinner indoors with a seated supper.
Event Co-Chairs Stephanie and David Krahe, Retta A. Miller and Megan and Tom Sterquell and Honorary Co-Chairs Fran and Mark S. Berg have arranged quite a lineup for the dinner at Fairmont Dallas on Thursday, October 12.
The 2023 Champion of Children Awardee will be La La Land Kind Cafe Founder Francois Reihani, who created the We Are One Project, a platform helping businesses successfully employ foster youth. It was born out of his awareness of the difficulty foster youths who’ve aged out of the system have finding a job. In Francois’ mind, everyone deserves a second chance and in many cases the kids in the foster system have had a first chance.
They have also scheduled Foster More Co-Founder David Ambroz to be the keynote speaker, and what a story he has lived. He was born in New York City to a mother whose mental health issues had them living on the streets, barely surviving.
As he told LA Stories host Giselle Fernandez, it was when he was 12 that she nearly beat him to death. The result was his being placed in the foster system. But because he was gay, no foster family was available so he was placed in a juvenile facility for young criminals.
It was when a foster couple was found that his life changed, resulting in his not only going to Vassar and earning a law degree from UCLA, but rising to the top ranks of Amazon.
Today David is “considered a national poverty and child welfare expert, advocating on behalf of children in the foster care system and those experiencing homelessness.”
If you want to get a head start on David’s journey, you might want to put his autobiography “A Place Called Home” on your summer reading list.
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* Photo provided by Dallas CASA