Volunteers Make Dreams Come True For Former Foster Youth

By Britt Moreno

DENVER (CBS4) – Imagine being completely on your own at 18 without any family support. It’s a heartbreaking reality for hundreds of teenagers in Colorado like GeQwan. He spent his childhood hoping for a family, but never found that stability or love.

dream makers 1 Volunteers Make Dreams Come True For Former Foster Youth

CBS4’s Britt Moreno talks with GeQwan (credit CBS)

“What is it like for kids in that position in foster care?” CBS4’s Britt Moreno asked GeQwan.

“Very dark, very lonely, and very unpredictable,” he responded.

LINK: Adopt Colorado Kids

He has found happiness in his cooking and hope through a local non-profit called “Dream Makers”. His passion for culinary work and his raw talent earned him a culinary degree out of Boulder. He achieved the goal after he aged out.

“What kept me alive to be honest? My hunger and drive to make myself a better person” he said.

dream makers 2 Volunteers Make Dreams Come True For Former Foster Youth

GeQwan cooking (credit CBS)

Former foster parent, Julie Davis, met GeQwan during the infancy of his personal chef business. She said she would see kids age out without families too often.

CBS4 SPECIAL REPORTS: Aging Out

“It’s heartbreaking. They don’t have anywhere to go for the holidays. They are forgotten on their birthdays” says Davis. She goes on to explain how kids often times turn to drugs or are homeless.

dream makers 3 Volunteers Make Dreams Come True For Former Foster Youth

Julie Davis is a former foster parent (credit CBS4)

Davis started Dream Makers. It’s a local non-profit that offers kids who age out of foster care a wish. Some of those wishes include a winter coat or a computer. Some ask for bus passes or grocery store gift cards. One girl was too embarrassed to smile because she did not have proper dental care, so she wished for veneers. GeQwan wished for pots and pans. Dream Makers gave GeQwan copper pots and a chef’s wardrobe.

dream makers Volunteers Make Dreams Come True For Former Foster Youth

GeQwan’s incredible creation. (credit CBS)

“What did they do for you?” Moreno asked.

“They gave me something that no one was willing to give,” GeQwan responded.

“What is that?” Moreno followed up.

“Compassion, understanding and love…and actually supported my dream,” GeQwan said.

Additional Resouces

The following are helpful resources for people who are aging out of foster care and for the people who care for them.

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign
Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline
1-844-CO-4-KIDS
Learn more about foster care and adoption in Colorado.
co4kids.org

United Way Bridging the Gap
helping teens live on their own after foster care
unitedwaydenver.org/bridging-the-gap
303-433-8383

Dream Makers Project
making dreams come true for former foster care youth
dreammakersproject.org

Chafee Program
life skills program provided through human services dept. of each county
denverchafee.org

CBS4 Wednesday’s Child Section
cbsdenver.com/wednesdayschild/

The Adoption Exchange
promoting adoption for foster care youth
adoptex.org
303-755-1339

Adoption Exchange’s Birthday Wishes Program
adoptex.org/get-involved/donate/birthday-wishes-program/
303-755-1339

Office of the Lt. Governor
colorado.gov/ltgovernor
303-866-2885

SOAR! Youth & Adult Choir
soaryouthandadultchoir.org 720-218-1433 (Youth)
720-989-5744 (Adults)

Britt Moreno anchors the CBS4 morning and noon newscasts and is the Wednesday’s Child reporter. She loves hearing from viewers. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @brittmorenotv.

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