Community writes hand-written notes to Utah foster kids for their graduations

Jun 2, 2022, 4:13 PM


SALT LAKE CITY—It’s the time of year when most high school graduates and their families are celebrating years of hard work.

Some grads, however, aren’t so lucky.

For them—kids in the foster care system—several strangers gathered Wednesday night at the Urban Arts Gallery at The Gateway to show support and honor their success.

JOYMOB events  and the Utah Arts Alliance teamed up to host a live graduation card signing for the 17- and 18-year-olds who are set to receive high school diplomas next week.

“They don’t really have caregivers or parents or anybody in their immediate world to celebrate them,” said JOYMOB founder Bahaa Chmait. “I know that despite all of their challenges and adversity, they’ve exceeded academically and that’s really exciting.”

People attended from across the Salt Lake Valley and came from as far away as Park City to write out personal congratulatory notes.

“I feel like they need to know somebody cares about them,” said Trisa McBride.

In addition to handwritten notes, McBride showed up with typed-out letters addressed to the graduates.

“You are so important to so many people, many of whom you’ve never met yet,” she wrote in one.

She said she hoped the graduates realized what a difference they make to others around them.

“At least they’ll know someone cares and a lot of people care,” McBride said.

Glen Svenningsen also showed up with his dog, Cooper, to jot out some notes.

“The best preparation for tomorrow is today and you have truly done that!” he wrote to one grad.

Chmait said he was glad to try to make a difference in the lives of these young adults. He said he planned to hand-deliver the letters at their graduation next week.

“I think if we can do a little bit and spread a little bit of joy in a very challenging environment, that just brings us a lot of happiness,” Chmait said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rar...

Paulina Aguilar, CNN

Preschool teacher finds rare fossil along Oregon coast

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rare fossil of an extinct animal.

3 hours ago

(Courtesy: Ogden Utah Fire Department) The aftermath of the fire...

Carlysle Price

Ogden mobile home fire claims lives of a cat and dog

A one-story mobile home caught fire Friday night near Wall Avenue, where four people and three pets were affected. 

4 hours ago

A man stands near what was discovered to be a well that opened up in a Spanish Fork man's Driveway....

Brianna Chavez

Spanish Fork homeowner finds old well under his driveway

After years of gradual change in one Spanish Fork homeowner's driveway, a well was discovered after part of the concrete caved in.

16 hours ago

Michael Cook, who was running for the Republican nomination for Spanish Fork's District 25 senate s...

Carlysle Price and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Former Senate candidate charged for refusing to leave a USPS while gathering signatures

Former Republican candidate Michael Cook is facing two charges after allegedly attempting to gather signatures in a federal building on March 29.

18 hours ago

FILE: A Summit County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle. (KSL TV)...

Alexander Campbell

Multiple Summit County businesses affected by counterfeit scheme, one arrested in connection

After reports of businesses being passed counterfeit money, one man is arrested in Summit County and facing drug and forgery charges.

18 hours ago

Green grass and wildflowers grow as a cyclist rides on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the foothi...

Carter Williams

Salt Lake City hits 1st 80-degree day of year, ties 88-year-old record

Utah's capital tied an 88-year-old temperature record on Friday as the high temperature at Salt Lake City International Airport surpassed 80 degrees for the first time this year.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Community writes hand-written notes to Utah foster kids for their graduations