Charles “Chaz” Tedesco Champion Award
Shari Shink was surprised and delighted to receive the Charles “Chaz” Tedesco Champion Award this December from Foster Source. The award recognizes someone who encompasses Foster Source’s three values: education, connection and nourishment.
Cobbled Streets partnered with Foster Source “right out of the gate” in 2020, and together have been able to do amazing things for children and families in the foster care system. Chaz Tedesco, the
namesake of the award, is a great role model, one of the few government officials who truly understands the foster care experience and has worked hard to bring attention to the system while doing whatever he can for the kids caught up in it.
Shari first met Chaz when he reached out to Cobbled Streets and asked for our help for a teenager, who had just graduated from high school without a family or funds to live independently. Together, with Chaz, we raised the funds needed to give her a good start, and Cobbled Streets found a volunteer who provided a car. Given that experience, Shari said of Chaz, “There’s no one like him!” To receive an award from Foster Source, a great partner, created in honor of Chaz Tedesco, makes it even more special.
A Hard But Touching Story
A Place Called Home by David Ambroz describes his years in foster care and his struggles with
homelessness. This story, with its raw and gritty details and shocking picture of his life,
illuminate the ways the system overlooks and fails to protect so many young people. Cobbled
Streets founder, Shari Shink remarked, “in my 40 years of helping kids, I have never read a more
compelling book. A Place Called Home should be read by every person who cares about kids.”
Important Quote: “I’ve brought home the lopsided house that I made out of Popsicle sticks, carefully holding it on my lap for the whole ride back to Albany. But when we pile out of the Robinsons’ car and walk toward the station, I drop it in the first trash can I pass. I don’t need to be told that it’s no use to me now. Popsicle-stick homes are too fragile, and carrying one around doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s a burden. Why would I want to remember summer camp? I’m about to be hungry again. And yet summer camp stays with me, not in the form of souvenir crafts, and not as a fun, nostalgic memory, but as a guiding light.”
Shari Shink Receives The Lifetime Achievement Award
National Philanthropy Day in Colorado
On November 10th 2022, Shari received the Lifetime Achievement Award at an event, hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, known to be one of the most inspiring events of the year. In addition to the almost 700 in attendance, Shari invited 40 special guests to join the celebration, which included family, friends, donors, colleagues and partners.
Some of these guests shared with her “almost a lifetime” of supporting children in foster care. Colleen Abdoulah nominated Shari for the award and shared her journey over 3 decades as Board Chair and donor of the Rocky Mt Children’s Law Center; Justice Richard Gabriel was a former pro bono attorney for 2 decades under Shari’s leadership at the RMCLC; Anthony Graves, Managing Director of Partnerships and Innovation at CU Denver, started his work there as a volunteer intern at age 16. Several former colleagues, as well as, long-term donors and foster parents attended. Many of them continue to support Shari’s work at Cobbled Streets.
During 40 years at the RMCLC, and 25 years litigating on behalf of thousands of foster youth, Shari understood the challenges of achieving meaningful outcomes for abused and neglected children. She fought in the courts, promoted policy change, and modeled bold, innovative practices. As an Adjunct Professor at the College of Law, she trained and inspired hundreds of attorneys and law students, locally and nationally, to advocate for this invisible population.
Justice Richard Gabriel once wrote: “It is not an overstatement to say Shari’s singular contributions in the field of child advocacy reverberate throughout Colorado and nationally, and I can think of no single person who has made a more significant and enduring impact on behalf of dependent and neglected children in this state.”
Shari is delighted that many of her guests now support Cobbled Streets, as well as volunteer and mentor youth. Each of them witnesses small miracles every day. Cobbled Streets is excited about future possibilities, and remains confident that we will move mountains to ensure that all children in foster care thrive!
When asked about the award, Shari expressed her gratitude for the many who supported her work over 4 decades, and with whom she shares this award.
10 reasons Why Kids Need Music & Art
Immersing children in the arts and music at home, through lessons, at school, and in the community, provides undeniable benefits that will help them throughout their lives.
Check Out Shari Shink’s Story
NEW! Read this inspiring story about the life and accomplishments of our Founder and Executive Director, Shari Shink that was recently published in Voyage Denver.
Higher Education Support For Foster Youth
Concerning postsecondary education support for certain students who have been in out-of-home placement, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Foster Youth Financial Assistance Program
Higher Education Support For Foster Youth (SB 22-008) requires that all public higher education institutions provide Colorado resident students who have been in foster care in Colorado at any time on or after reaching the age of 13, with financial assistance for the remaining balance of the student's total cost of attendance over the amount of any private, state, or federal financial assistance received by the student. These costs are split, with 50% of the cost being covered by the institution and 50% will be covered by the state.
Foster Youth Financial Assistance Program
This document offers information about eligibility for the people that are looking to utilize the Foster Youth Financial Assistance Program
The Pandemic that never ends…
Check out this article written by Cobbled Streets Founder and Executive Director, Shari Shink. It focuses on the youth mental health crisis that has occurred since March, 2020 and what it means especially for children in foster care.
An Adams County apartment complex set aside 12 units for foster youth. It barely makes a dent in the demand.
Federal funding and awareness about the need to provide affordable housing to youth exiting foster care have increased over the past decade - but is it enough? What are we doing to help these youth before they turn 18? And can we keep up with the demand to meet the housing needs?
9News report on the mental health of children in foster care.
County human services directors say their caseworkers have had to sleep in office buildings with children because they can’t find them a bed.
STATEWIDE RESOURCE DATABASE LAUNCHES TO FIGHT THE COLORADO FOSTER CARE CRISIS
Cobbled Streets and our partner, Just As Special, have joined forces to support the foster care community through the creation of a resource database for the state of Colorado.
Read more here ---
Check out this expose from Colorado Sun and 9 News Denver regarding the safety of residential childcare in Colorado.
Warning: Parts of these stories can be hard to read/watch/listen to.
Families kept in the dark about children’s safety in Colorado’s child welfare system
With bites, bruises and low pay, caretakers for Colorado’s troubled youth say there’s not enough staff to keep kids — and each other — safe
The deadly consequences when kids run away from Colorado residential treatment centers
Pediatric Care for Foster Children | Children's Hospital Colorado
Pediatric Care for Children in Foster Care During COVID-19: Part I (S4:E6)
Children in out-of-care home settings face unique healthcare challenges due to adverse childhood events that affect their mental and physical health. Families who take these children into their home face unique challenges as well, so they need support to meet their needs. Consequently, it’s important for primary providers to be aware of the tenets of care for this important patient population.
Kids in Foster Care: Part II | Children's Hospital Colorado
Pediatric Care for Children in Foster Care During COVID-19: Part II (S4:E13)
Listen to pediatric experts discuss healthcare considerations for children living in foster care and other out-of-home settings.
4,000 to 4,500 children in Colorado are currently in the foster care system. Torn from their homes through no fault of their own, these children face extreme emotional trauma from the uncertainty that follows. Ensuring they have a genuine childhood, and a future, should matter to all of us.
Cobbled Streets is providing learning experiences, leadership, and recreational opportunities to offer youth in foster care a sense of hope and the possibility for a productive future. We want them to have the opportunity to have fun - even during the hardest time of their lives.
Join us in helping kids enjoy things like Summer camp, music lessons, sports, holiday shopping, museum visits, equine therapy, yoga or cooking classes and so much more!
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