What happens when two PTA presidents embark on a middle school community service project? Our story begins.
Many years ago, Debbie Ellman and Donna Biase organized a one-day makeover of a local shelter for abused, abandoned, and neglected youth. Eventually, their one-day visit grew into involvement as board members and a mission to further education. After meeting with four young men from the shelter who recently aged out of the foster care system, it became clear to Debbie and Donna that something was missing. That they could do better. One of these young men would soon enter his senior year, while Debbie’s own daughter also prepared for this final chapter of high school. The only difference? He did it all while living alone. Debbie offered to help him through this pivotal year, and with necessary support, he went on to participate in senior activities, receive scholarships, and earn college acceptance.
While this young man prevailed, “what do all of the other kids do?” Debbie’s husband asked. If only there was an answer.
Debbie and Donna met the very next day to solve this question. After researching various agencies and strategies from across the country, they pieced together the basis of an unprecedented program devoted to the education of foster care youth. Debbie and Donna stepped up to the challenge and Best Foot Forward was incorporated in January 2010.