Park West Foundation Launches “Blue Babies” Initiative
SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN – The Park West Foundation, established in 2006 by founder and CEO of Park West Gallery, Albert Scaglione and his wife Mitsie Scaglione, is unveiling its “Blue Babies” initiative. The initiative is designed to facilitate the positive transformation of young people who are aging out of the foster care system.
“Blue Babies” represent Michigan youth who have triumphed over adversity. These youth are committed to leading by example to empower their peers and to serve as guardians and advocates of children’s rights in service of their communities.
The “Blue Babies” initiative will be formally unveiled during the Together, We Can Michigan “Blue and Green Fest” community event on Saturday, August 1 from 10am to 4pm at the Joseph Walker Williams Recreational Center, located at 8431 Rosa Parks in Detroit.
This free event is open to the public and features free food, fun, games and live entertainment. The event includes a bus tour of historical sites and celebrity homes, with tour times at 12:30, 2:00, 3:30, or 4:30pm. Special preference will be given to guests who wear blue or green. A special session, Healing from Abuse will take place from 10am to noon.
“Park West Foundation is currently working with more than 200 young adults who have recently aged out of the foster care system,” said Mitsie Scaglione, executive director of the Park West Foundation. “We have assisted in the transformation of dozens of young people who left foster care without a decent place to live, without a clear direction for their future, in many cases without adequate job skills or education, and often without the support network necessary to create a positive life. ‘Blue Babies’ was formed to bring a more focused approach to the needs of these young adults.”
“Blue Babies” range in age from 17-21 years old when they age out of the foster care system, are in many cases left on their own to find housing, employment and/or educational opportunities. The “Blue Babies” initiative provides a framework of support that includes a “family” of foster care peers to provide guidance and assistance, as well as access to a network of social and government services available for financial, education and job training resources.
Without support of organizations like Park West Foundation, and many other local partnering agencies, many of the “Blue Babies” fall victim to predators, or become involved in crime or in drug use.