Youth Advocate and World Champion Gymnast Hosts Zoom Call with Friends of the Children
On May 16th, more than 100 youth in Friends of the Children programs across the country met on Zoom with world champion gymnast and youth advocate Simone Biles. It was the third year in a row that Simone Zoomed with youth in the Friends of the Children national network to answer questions, share her own personal story about foster care, and lead the group in some stretches.
While the Zoom call was part of honoring National Foster Care Month and Mental Health Awareness Month in May, it was focused primarily on supporting and inspiring youth from across the 33 Friends of the Children sites.
"Whenever I was younger, I would've loved to have an organization like this and someone to watch over me and believe in me,” said Simone. “When I was adopted at 5 almost 6 years old, I had those people…which are now my parents, but I would've loved while I was in foster care or in similar situations that some of you kids are in… just to help me and be there along each step of the way, all the way until I graduated because I think that is really crucial for you kids. I think that is really important work that you guys are doing."
The children on the call asked about how Simone has overcome fear and doubt, they got to hear about her three precious dogs, and learn about Simone’s start in gymnastics.
Simone also spoke directly to the Friends on the call — paid, professional long-term mentors: "Thank you so much for everything you are doing. That is so brave. The kids appreciate you, I appreciate you, and the organization appreciates you,” Simone said. “You guys are doing really hard work and great work. We just love you."
Friends of the Children is immensely grateful to Simone for partnering with us and dedicating her time to inspire and support youth with unlimited potential who also face great obstacles. She is a role model who not only helped show youth that anything is possible, but she brightened the day of hundreds of children from across the country. Her ongoing support of Friends of Children is helping us make a greater impact throughout the nation.