The 2022 Just Like Me exhibition of talent premieres at the Florida Theatre on Thursday, July 28, from 6-8 p.m. The showcase is free to the entire community and features the talents of teens in foster care who have been mentored through the Performers Academy. See the full story from First Coast News here

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Thursday head down to the Florida Theatre to cheer on foster teens in the ‘Just like Me’ summer camp.


The camp is an 11-year-old partnership with Family Support Services (FSS) and The Performers Academy (TPA).

TPA’s Executive Director Ebony Payne-English says it’s designed to give teens in care a way to express themselves through art.


“Those stories that they’re carrying inside with them that they feel like they can’t tell anyone not even a therapist, they can put on a canvas. They can get it out in a dance. They can sing it through in a metaphor. They can write a poem and just place it someplace that is not going to harm them or someone else so that’s what it has done and we continue to see that work,” English said.


FSS’s Maria Oxford says year after year they watch campers come in and transform.


“I think it’s just getting to talk to people and getting to know other teenagers their age by the end of the three weeks they’re on stage they are expressing themselves through art and they are a completely different person,” Oxford said.


See the full report from First Coast News here.

Learn more about The Performers Academy here.

Learn how to support teens in foster care by reaching out to FSS’ Youth Well-Being team here.