A quinceanera is a coming out party celebrated by many Latina girls. For girls in foster care it can be a reminder that their lives are not like other kids. For one group of girls in the system their dreams of a grand party came true. A grand party was thrown for six lucky girls courtesy Quinceanera.com
First, these young ladies got glammed up. Their names are Jennifer, Fernanda, Maria, Sieni, Angel, and Crystal. Angel always dreamed of a quinceanera but feared that being in foster care it would never happen. Families usually pitch in for the big party, buying gowns, and jewelry, and food for all in attendance.
With this group party, all got a chance to celebrate turning fifteen together. Crystal has been in foster care for ten years. She loved the idea of sharing in this rite of passage for young Latinas. Their foster families were present, so were handsome escorts. Angel says it means she's "not a little girl anymore and has more responsibilities."
Quinceanera.com hopes to make this an annual event. CEO, Martha de la Torre wants the girls to know their traditions matter.
Not all kids in the system are so lucky. Foster homes are caring for 18-thousand kids. Sixty-percent are Latino. The head of the Department of Children and Family Services says kids in foster care often miss out on traditions and ceremonies because their lives can be in disarray. Social worker Will Wong says this helps these girls build a "healthy sense of entitlement." He says that matters because it encourages them to expect healthy relationships and family settings.
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