Fostering Hope Livestream
Featuring the recipients of the Warren and Mary Alice Babineaux Award
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
About Our 2016 Babineaux Award Recipients
Sixto Cancel is a foster care alumnus who has already made an extraordinary impact on the world at the young age of 24. Sixto founded Think of Us, an organization united around the belief that “surviving is not enough.” All young people, despite adversity can become thriving adults. Think of Us provides advocacy, support, and creative services which bridge the gap between technology and child welfare to improve the well-being and development of youth and families engaged with local and state services. While this is Sixto’s latest project, it is by no means his first. While still in high school, he began Stellar Works which provided after school tutoring and transportation to youth who needed extra support because of their involvement with foster care. As a Young Fellow at the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Sixto supported the Success Beyond 18 campaign. He also was part of a large youth-led campaign for the Siblings Bill in Connecticut and other New England states. The bill passed, giving young people in foster care the right to visit their siblings. He also lead a grassroots campaign to break the pattern of giving youth a trash bag to put their belongings in when moving from home. Seeking to give youth a bit of dignity by providing duffel bags instead, he learned that Connecticut actually had a policy in place to provide duffels, but was not following it.
Foster care alumna Nicole Marchman is a resilient survivor of traumas resulting from sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence, and the inherent instability of the foster care system. Determined not to let her past limit her future, Nicole found her voice and her courageous and inspiring message has helped to encourage and bring positive change to other trauma survivors. She now provides such support through None Lost Movement Ministry, an organization of abuse survivors she founded to ensure that victims no longer feel isolated and alone in the midst of their pain. NLMM offers education, awareness, and healing to children and young people ages 4 and up through conferences, counseling, and outreach services throughout the Tampa Bay area. Nicole tells her own story of overcoming in her book, Unbreakable Spirit Arises: From Broken Girl to Resilient Woman. She also served as a Foster Youth Intern with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, which advocates for robust and effective national policies which impact foster youth, especially those which focus on kinship care and youth at risk of aging out of foster care. Nicole is also personally engaged in the foster care system – now as a foster parent providing loving care to children in need. She is currently pursuing the adoption of children in her care so that she can provide the permanent, loving family she believes all children deserve.
About The Warren and Mary Alice Babineaux Award
The Warren and Mary Alice Babineaux Award honors individuals and organizations that have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure children experience the love and stability that come with a forever family. This award is given to those who have demonstrated the most selfless commitment to providing resources, education, and leadership to address the many challenges including parent recruitment, training, and support services necessary to give children safe, stable, and loving adoptive families. The Warren and Mary Alice Babineaux Award acknowledges the dedicated efforts of those who have generously given their time, talents, and resources to ensure that all children can “come home” to a loving, forever family. The award is named for Adoption Hall of Fame recipients Warren and Mary Alice Babineaux who cared for more than 100 children in foster care during their decades-long tenure as foster and adoptive parents in Louisiana.
The Babineaux Award was first presented in 2015 to Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Governor John Kasich of Ohio in recognition of their commitments to generating increased awareness of and support for finding forever families for children in foster care.