FSS Youth Advisory Council member Lashell Gardner-Vaughan one of five finalists
West Palm Beach, Fla. (April 24, 2023) – Whether they aspire to connect youth during the holidays, create medication-supportive diet plans, or open an artist lounge, youth who were in foster care have big dreams! Selfless Love Foundation’s annual Dream Tank Competition helps make those dreams a reality. Five finalists from across the state presented their professional goals to a panel of judges on Friday, April 14 at The Hilton.
David Lombard won the competition with his goal to provide financial literacy classes for fellow youth who have aged out of foster care. Each Dream Tank finalist receives $1,000 and the winner gets $5,000. This year’s participants were so impressive, the judges and supporters in the audience increased the winnings for each youth to nearly $10,000.
“These five young adults have the determination to reach for their goals, and we have no doubt they will achieve them,” said Dr. Elizabeth Wynter, Selfless Love Foundation’s executive director. “While the Dream Tank competition is one night, all the skills these youth acquired on the journey to get here will stay with them forever.”
Lashell Gardner-Vaughan, a member of Family Support Services Duval & Nassau Counties’ Youth Advisory Council, was one of this year’s five outstanding finalists. Lashell’s dream is to create a more supportive corrections system with programs to give incarcerated individuals a second chance. This is the second year in a row a member of FSS’ Youth Advisory Council has advanced to the final round of the Dream Tank competition. Lashell recently advocated for youth in care, dispelling myths about teens in foster care during Foster Youth Voice Month in October during a segment on Jacksonville’s River City Live in October.
Before the finalists step on the stage at the Dream Tank Competition, they complete a six-week Dale Carnegie Leadership Training, then spend the next nine months participating in sessions on speech writing and presentation, professional etiquette, business and investment basics, and connecting with professionals in their field of interest.
The Dream Tank Competition was sponsored by Alba Palm Beach and hosted by actress and comedian Melissa Peterman along with singer and youth advocate Kayleigh Register. Special guests at the event included some of the nearly 400 forever families Selfless Love Foundation has helped to bring together through adoption.
Learn about teens in foster care with FSS and how to support them by clicking here.
About Selfless Love Foundation
Selfless Love Foundation (SLF) is a non-profit organization that leverages resources, expertise, and proven solutions to improve the child welfare system, creating opportunities for more foster youth to find their forever families and thrive in adulthood. SLF leads statewide collaborative initiatives designed to transform the child welfare system for children in foster care today and for generations to come. For more information, please visit SelflessLoveFoundation.org.