This past September 2 good friends of the SYESA foundation, Luke Gregerson and Keith Harris, hosted a fundraising event for the organization. Luke is a professional baseball player for the San Diego padres and Keith Harris is from Sports 1 Marketing, and East Village Tavern and Bowl.
The event was called Struggling Youth Equals Successful Adults-Just In Time For Foster Youth Fundraiser.
Purpose of the Event
The purpose of this event was to bring more awareness to the struggles that young people have after aging out of foster care, to develop meaningful and supportive relationships between local/national businesses with both charitable organizations, and to raise revenue for the many significant needs that foster youth have.
Luke Gregerson grew up in a large family with many aunts, uncles, and first cousins. His family has always been known to help out others in a tight-knit community on the north side if Chicago. Luke’s aunt, Patricia Obosla Katz, opened up her home to many youth in the community that were less fortunate. One youth in particular, who happened to live in nearby group home, was one that she grew particularly fond of. Antwan Turpeau was introduced to Mrs. Katz at the age of 10. By the age of 16 Patricia offered to be Antwan’s permanent foster parent and he has remained an intimate part of the entire family since.
Luke and Antwan have a close relationship as foster cousins, but the word foster is rarely introduced when referring to each other unless the connection needs to be made. Luke has always admired Antwan’s ability to overcome the obstacles in his life and attributes a lot of Antwan’s success to his aunt Patricia Katz, who unexpectedly passed away June 16, 2008. Both Luke and Antwan had a mutually close relationship and bond with Patricia. This sudden death brought the Katz and Gregerson family closer, which included Luke and Antwan.
In the fall of 2009, Luke was delighted to be a part of a dream and vision of Antwan’s, which was to help other foster care youth transition out of the foster care system successfully and keep them connected to support and resources after foster care. In essence this is exactly what Luke watched Patricia do for Antwan most of his life. Today, Antwan Turpeau has a Masters Degree in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago, and is Co-Founder and Executive Director for our charitable organization SYESA, pronounced “see-saw”, which means Struggling Youth Equals Successful Adults.
Luke and Antwan want to help many youth around the country that have spent most of their lives in foster care. Just in Time for Foster Youth is also a charitable organization based in San Diego that provides services similar to those of SYESA. The Executive Directors of both organizations have extreme passion for the work that they do for youth in care. This is why Luke would like to encourage support for his home and local charity.
SYESA would like to thank supporters such as Luke and Keith for all they have done for our organization and we always will hold Patricia Katz near to our hearts.