Local photographers said “yes” to Child Advocates of El Dorado County’s request to photograph local foster seniors.
Most students expect high school graduation pictures. Most students get them. Court Appointed Special Advocate staff members realized some foster teens might not have senior portraits taken and asked photographers to donate their time for a photo shoot and some keepsake pictures.
Gail Shoop-Lamy of Quintessence Photographic Art and Sharon and Scott Benton of Studio B — Benton Photography couldn’t say yes fast enough. All were eager to help these teens have a senior moment and lasting memories and to feel special and proud of all they have accomplished despite horrific childhoods and the odds being stacked against them.
All the photographers carved out a day amidst the busy Thanksgiving week when these students would be on vacation, so they could get their pictures back quickly and start sharing them like other seniors were doing.
The Bentons even asked their daughter, Torye Salyer, to do the girls’ hair and make-up.
CASA advocates Stacey Standal and Lynne Hourigan were thrilled when they heard the kids they serve would receive a photo shoot and pictures to share with their friends.
“I was overwhelmed. I know how important it is to have this memory of one’s high school years. When I told my youth about the opportunity they were very excited, almost as much as I am.” Hourigan said.
Hourigan has served El Dorado County’s abused and neglected kids for several years and considers her role necessary for these kids’ well-being.
“I know that being a constant in their lives is important as their circumstances may not always be positive. I believe that all youth deserve and flourish with consistency and I attempt to give them at least a small measure of that,” Hourigan said.
Child Advocates of El Dorado County is grateful for 150 advocates like Standal and Hourigan helping kids transform their lives with the gift of hope and the promise of a brighter future. Children in Foster Care deserve CASA advocates to ensure they are placed in safe and permanent homes.
“Our advocates’ support also aims to help reduce the number of foster children who encounter the challenges of homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration and abuse of their own children later in life,” said John Adams, executive director of Child Advocates of El Dorado (CASA).
“With around 500 kids to serve annually, our vision of serving every child is achievable. We can make a difference for many of these kids by improving their outcomes through our support to the child and the Child Welfare System. However, we need the help of caring community members like Lynne and Stacey,” Adams said.
To find out more about becoming a CASA or donating to support the work go to casaeldorado.org or call 530-622-9882.