WEST PALM BEACH — Foster care youth in Palm Beach County who are 2015 high school graduates were recognized in a special community celebration at ChildNet, the Community-Based Care lead agency in Palm Beach County. “We are so proud of these students,” said Larry Rein, executive director of ChildNet in Palm Beach County. “They all have incredible aspirations and a bright future. ChildNet joins with all of our service providers in acknowledging and celebrating their success. We also appreciate the generosity of AT&T, Guardian ad Litem and all of our partners who provided tools for these students to move on to the next phase of their lives.”

The students each received a special certificate of graduation from ChildNet, a $25 gift card from the Guardian ad Litem program and laptops from AT&T. Following the ceremony, students, their families and community partners enjoyed breakfast courtesy of Original House of Pancakes. Former news anchor and foster care and adoption advocate Jim Sackett was the emcee.

“It was terrific to be part of the graduation at ChildNet,” said Karl Blanco, director of sales for AT&T in South Florida. “These students faced challenges and overcame them. It was nice to see that they are getting ready to take the next steps in their lives, in their education or in their career. We presented each of them with a laptop, laptop bag and wireless mouse and they were very appreciative. You could see it on their faces. We wish them well.”

The students attended high schools throughout Palm Beach County and already made plans for college. Brianna Turner of Boynton Beach was one of the students recognized. “I am already enrolled in Palm Beach State College to get a degree in micro biology and cell science,” she said.

Community partners who helped the youth as they attained their degree included Children’s Home Society, Vita Nova, Friends of Foster Children, Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach, Best Foot Forward and Place of Hope.

As the single private non-profit entity responsible for administration of the local child welfare systems in Broward and Palm Beach County, ChildNet is dedicated to protecting abused, abandoned and neglected children in the communities it serves.