When you think about adoption, what comes to mind? Babies perhaps!? Most people do. We tend to make the assumption that once a kid becomes a teenager, adoption is no longer an option, or that it’s too late for a family.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth! (Listen to the Toles family story to learn more)
Take a moment and think of yourself as a teen - remember the bad hair days, college applications, unreturned phone calls and texts from someone you care about, and a whole lot of stress! And it didn’t automatically stop the second you turned 21, did it? Yet, every year, thousands of kids leave the foster care system at age 21, asked to face the world alone. Can you imagine navigating life with no family or adult support?
Research by the Pew Foundation shows that today, more than half of U.S. youth between 18 and 24 years continue to live with their parents and rely on them for both material and emotional support. Yet, the most vulnerable of young adults, who are in foster care, are expected to survive alone. That just doesn’t make sense.
At Northshore High School, we believe that every kid deserves a family! We believe it’s ludicrous for someone our age to be considered too old for adoption! That’s why we are inspired to use our voices, organizational skills, and love for basketball to do something about it!
The Teens Gotta Believe fundraising basketball tournament was created by North Shore High School alumni Ryan O’Day, in 2016, to raise awareness and funds for teens right here on Long Island who are waiting for loving, permanent families. Last year, the event was run by John Labbate, Jack Rosencrans, and Matthew Saltzman. This year, juniors Luke Martin, Adrian Ortiz, and Jake Sasso are at the helm, organizing a basketball tournament, learning about the foster care system, and raising funds for kids in foster care. Together, we are Teens Gotta Believe!
The event will take place Saturday, April 13th, from 1 pm - 5 pm, at North Shore High School.
Teens Gotta Believe supports kids in the foster care system here in NY, especially on Long Island, who are at risk of “aging out.” All proceeds go to the You Gotta Believe, non-profit whose mission is to connect older youth to loving, forever families so they don't have to navigate life alone.
Over the last three years, the tournament has raised more than $27,000 for You Gotta Believe.
This year, our goal is to raise $8,000. Will you join us and help us reach our goal?