Tuesday, June 18, 2024

My White House Experience

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to DC by The WHITE HOUSE. Read that again, The White House invited me to DC for the White House Foster Care Proclamation 2024. May is Foster Care Awareness Month and I have a 501(c)3, The Knighten Project that provides brand new suitcases to teens aging out of foster care and fill them with everyday essentials as they transition into adulthood.

I was invited by Stephen Keith Benjamin the Director of the Office of Public Engagement for the Biden administration, and also as one of the senior advisors to President Biden since April 1, 2023. The event was on May 30, 2024 at the White House Executive offices. It’s on the White House Grounds, and if where the office of the Vice President resides as well. The Executive offices is next door (and walking distance) from the White House and protected by secret service as well. We had to go through the same level of security to get in.

Just walking into the room of the meeting was life changing. It really was a “Mama, I made it moment!” I was in a room with the heads of companies like Google, Amazon, Universal Music and more who are doing big things with teens who are in Foster care. I made sure that I networked and gave them my information. I’m not sure what will come of it, but I’m positive.

One part of the proclamation that stands out:  There is still so much to do to ensure our foster youth are set up for success in their adult lives.  That is why I proposed providing $9 billion to establish a housing voucher program for all 20,000 youths aging out of foster care every year, giving them the security to begin adulthood.  I have also called for over $2 billion to help youth aging out of foster care find a job, enroll in and afford higher education, obtain basic necessities, and access preventative health care.

Currently, I work with local foster care agencies here in Tampa. I’ve been asked to expand to other states. I’m open but I want to make sure systems are in place to do that. I’m looking forward to growing more in Florida counties as well.

If you want to donate or work with The Knighten Project, please check our website TheKnightenProject.org or email me at KnightenProject@gmail.com

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