At the 6th Annual Phoenix Awards, ForKids was delighted to honor two of their former clients who have risen like the mythical phoenix by growing and rebuilding themselves. As in years past, they were chosen based on their remarkable tenacity and courage, having overcome significant personal challenges as they broke the cycle of poverty and homelessness. The honorees were celebrated at the Kroc Center on November 9th during a luncheon presented by Elizabeth River Crossings along with this year’s Children’s Champion: Dr. Ellen Bassuk. As the founder and former president of the National Center on Family Homelessness, founder of Center for Social Innovation, and president of the Bassuk Center for Homeless and Vulnerable Children & Youth, Dr. Bassuk is truly a national figure in the fight against homelessness. ForKids was deeply honored to host Livia Davis for a keynote speech and award acceptance on Dr. Bassuk’s behalf.
Gabrielle Brown defines perseverance. Gabrielle has been a ForKids kid as long as she can remember. Determined to succeed, she attended Hot Meals & Homework (now called Beyond the Bell) and by the time she reached high school, decided she would graduate and join the military or attend college. Even after her family moved back into ForKids’ Haven House emergency shelter her senior year, Gabrielle kept her head held high. With the help of ForKids’ education team, Gabrielle received several scholarships and was accepted into Virginia Wesleyan College. Today, she is working on her Bachelor’s in Business and plans to open her own bakery. Gabrielle’s future success knows no boundaries and ForKids is proud to award her the 2016 Phoenix Outstanding Achievement Award.