Education is fundamental to human existence. However, for survivors of extreme childhood trauma and those who bounce back and forth between homes and foster care, education appears to be a luxury. Cheryl Williams, executive director and founder of the non-profit organization FUNdamentals for Foster Care is on a mission to help foster care students obtain the education they deserve.
FUNdamentals for Foster Care focuses on distributing science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics toys to children who are transitioning into the foster care system. Aside from that, they also have learning tool kits that aim to nurture children’s career confidence and develop necessary life skills, even when there are no dependable parents or guardians to supervise them.
One of the most significant factors that keep foster children from being on track with their education is a difficult transition. Cheryl said that when children transfer to a new home, they fall behind six months in school. FUNdamentals for Foster Care bridges the gap by providing educational toys through their STEAM toys program and learning kits that any child can bring along.
FUNdamentals for Foster Care is a growing national organization that has gained support from public heroes, celebrities, and community influencers. Cheryl emphasized that now more than ever, non-profit organizations such as theirs should strengthen their impact across the United States. The founder expressed that foster children are among the most vulnerable in society because they miss one essential element: family. “With depression, unemployment, drug abuse, alcoholism, sex trafficking, and suicide cases increasing, we need to be more supportive of foster youth,” said the founder.
Cheryl Williams knows the extent of the effects of being in foster care on the brain of a child. The founder herself was in the system, and she had to battle through high school when she went into foster care in her sophomore year. Eventually, through hard work, Cheryl earned her GED and finished college with a 4.0 GPA, but the journey took ten years. “It’s not surprising that only 3% of those in foster care graduate college even though many get a free ride from the state for being wards of the court,” said Cheryl.
Cheryl Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois, but currently resides in Austin, Texas. She obtained a degree in early childhood education and has over 20 years of experience working with non-profit organizations before building Fundamentals for Foster Care. She has previously been a part of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Cheryl has also worked with care communities that provide practical support for those with terminal illnesses. She has also participated in Restoration Blessings, an organization that gives practical aid for single mothers in Pflugerville, Texas.
Cheryl was first inspired to build the mission of FUNdamentals for Foster Care when she was picking out Christmas gifts for foster children under CASA. She realized the impact of giving personalized toys, specifically satisfying a child’s interests, to their personal development. Not only did it help the kids, but it also helped their foster parents. Today, Cheryl is doing that through STEAM toys on a bigger scale.
FUNdamentals for Foster Care continues its mission despite the COVID-19 crisis. “We’ve teamed up with Chelsea’s Charity, a child hero who has been spreading love to foster children during the COVID-19 pandemic by supplying them with art supplies,” said Cheryl.
In these times of need, Cheryl is reaching out to people to help foster children. “We are looking for the pure-hearted champions and heroes to be a part of this growing organization,” said the founder. To get in touch with Cheryl and Fundamentals for Foster Care, reach them through their email [email protected].
To learn more about the non-profit organization, visit their website.