May 10, 2023

Honoree: Simone Biles

Youth Advocate and World Champion Gymnast

Friends of the Children continues to be honored and grateful for our partnership with youth advocate and world champion gymnast Simone Biles, the GOAT of gymnastics. She is the most decorated American gymnast in history, with 25 medals (19 of them gold) from the World Championship and seven medals (four gold) from the Olympics. She is also the first American woman to win seven national all-around titles, and the first female gymnast to earn three consecutive World All-Around titles. Simone is a three-time recipient of the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year and has received widespread recognition including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, TIME 100 Most Influential, Forbes 30 Under 30, Ebony Power 100, People Women Changing the World, USA Today 100 Women of the Century, and two-time Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year.

In addition to these amazing accomplishments, Simone is an incredible advocate for children and also experienced foster care as a youth. Friends of the Children has teamed up with Simone Biles in many different ways over the past few years from commercials and world tours to Zoom calls with our youth and an op-ed in USA Today—all with the goal to inspire belief and empower children who face systemic obstacles such as being impacted by foster care and mental health challenges.

Simone spoke from experience and her heart when she said: “I know how special having a mentor is, and somebody who believes in you and helps you through each and every step of the way. I think that’s a really unique situation and it’s important, and I wish there were more Friends of the Children.”

We can’t thank Simone enough for her support of Friends of the Children in our 30th year. It means the world to us and to the youth and families we serve. Most recently, Simone and Wheaties hosted a ‘Breakfast of Champions’ event in January 2023 in Spring, TX to unveil her second limited-edition Wheaties box, which also featured Friends of the Children! The box celebrates Simone’s personal journey, including her work helping us launch our Friends of the Children–Houston chapter, specifically rallying financial support from three of her sponsors: Axonius, General Mills, and Subway.

“I am honored to be featured on my second Wheaties box and grateful for the opportunity to highlight Friends of the Children, an extraordinary organization that is working to make sure other youth have access to mentors and the support to dream big in life,” said Biles. “I hope my journey can be an example to all children that anything is possible, and I’m excited to help expand access to resources and mentorship in my hometown with the launch of the Friends of the Children—Houston chapter!”

Simone lives in Houston, TX with her husband Jonathan Owens, and their three bulldogs.