In the Family Fellowship program, we offer family-like financial and emotional support to college-bound “aging out” foster youth. As part of our family initiative, we also provide a support system, including mentors, care packages, and winter bonding trips. This year’s bonding trip was a blast!
Fellows flew into Colorado on Friday night, ready for a week of fun in the snow. La’Shall, our scholarship coordinator, was excited to meet the fellows for the very first time! Once everyone arrived, we all settled down to play board games in the cozy cabin. Snow was just starting to fall outside but the fireplace kept everyone warm and toasty.
On Saturday, we celebrated a fellow’s birthday with cake and ice cream! We spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting to know one another. La’Shall and some of the fellows cooked up a delicious soul food dinner for everyone. They made fried chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread, and green beans, and it was all finger-lickin’ good!
Sunday, the fellows tried out a couple of escape rooms in downtown Denver. One room was decorated like Las Vegas for a casino heist, and the other was themed like a zombie apocalypse! The zombie group figured out the puzzles just in time, but the casino group couldn’t quite pull off the crime.
Monday morning, everyone got up bright and early to visit the mountains. Beautiful snow dusted all the trees on the hills and we even caught snowflakes on our tongues! The most exciting part was going snow-tubing down the scenic mountainside.
Early Christmas morning, our executive director Gianna decorated the entire cabin like a winter wonderland. There were so many presents for the fellows, they didn’t fit under the Christmas tree! La’Shall and Keri cooked breakfast while everyone hunted for the candy canes Gianna hid. Kids in foster care don’t always get gifts for the holidays, so we wanted to make sure that this Christmas was their best one yet.
Wednesday was the last day of the Family Fellowship program bonding trip, and we definitely made the most of it. Robert and Hope Smith, the wonderful couple who welcomed the fellows to Colorado, invited us all to their clubhouse. Together we made gumbo, sang karaoke, and thanked them for their incredible generosity.
Overall, the winter bonding trip was amazing, and we can’t wait to do it again next year!
To learn more about our Family Fellowship program, visit https://www.togetherwerise.org/family-fellowship/