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[Tallahassee] –  On Wednesday, the Florida Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Foundation honored eight youth in the child welfare system with the Foundation’s TRIUMPH Award for their determination, resilience and success.  It’s the third year the Foundation has presented its TRIUMPH Awards to young people represented by the Guardian ad Litem Program in the state dependency courts. Angelina Ramirez (Lakeland, FL), Jasmine Dixon (Tampa, FL) , Juana Gregorio (Deerfield Beach, FL), Pearl Collins (Port Saint Lucie, FL), Christopher Brice (Miami, FL), Sara Friesel (Sarasota, FL), Micaela Segobia (Key West, FL) and Ivery Swanson (Port Charlotte, FL) all received scholarship money and Apple MacBooks.  All youth who were nominated throughout the state received $100 gift cards.

Youth aging out of foster care face unique challenges and need the support of friends, teachers, organizations, and the community. The TRIUMPH Award is an opportunity for the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation to recognize outstanding youth who have persevered and overcome those challenges.   The Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation also wants to give them a chance at a better future through it’s TRIUMPH Award and the tools for post-secondary education that come with it.

The eight recipients were honored Wednesday at a virtual ceremony with a statewide audience. Their scholarships and MacBooks were generously sponsored by the Guardian Trust Foundation, the Florida Blue Foundation and the Make It Happen Fund, said GAL Foundation CEO Sonia Valladares.  “Witnessing the Incredible Resiliency that we see from our youth in care is what inspired us to create the TRIUMPH Award Scholarship.” The Guardian ad Litem Program represents over 23,000 abused, abandoned and neglected children in Florida’s dependency courts and advocates for their best interests, and the Florida GAL Foundation supports its mission.

“We are honored to be able to present this opportunity for such deserving young adults.”  said Lori Duarte-Roberts President of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation.

To view the 2020 Triumph Awards ceremony, please visit  To learn more about becoming a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, please call 1-866-341-1425 or visit To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Foundation, visit or call 1-850-922-7213.