Celebrity Charity:

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — On Sunday, September 22nd at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, First Star will be hosting its 20th Anniversary Celebration, a fun-filled afternoon carnival and ceremony recognizing the heroes who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to helping foster youth transform their lives. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet the First Star Academy Scholars, high school age foster youth who are beating the odds.

This year’s honorees include foster youth advocates and First Star supporters Devin Alexander, Jay Paul Deratany, David Eilenberg, and the WellCare Community Foundation.  Devin Alexander, the Celebrity Chef and NYT Bestselling Author, recently adopted a baby girl from Los Angeles DCFS and now lends her talents to advocate for foster youth.  A longtime champion of our Loyola University Chicago Academy, Jay Paul Deratany is a corporate litigator also striving for change in the national foster care system, through his film, the soon-to-be released Foster Boy, based on his work advocating for foster youth.  David Eilenberg, the COO of ITV America, takes time to support our UCLA Academy students and is extremely active in the foster care community through his advocacy work and in his personal life. The WellCare Community Foundation has funded the expansion of the First Star ASU Academy, which has allowed them to triple the number of students attending, as well as extend its reach beyond Maricopa County.

Also attending are First Star’s Celebrity Ambassadors: actor Shane Paul McGhie (What Men Want, American Skin, Foster Boy), actress/singer Emma Hunton (FX‘s Good Trouble, a spin-off of The Fosters), actress/model Gianna Simone (Star Trek Into Darkness), and actress/host Tammin Sursok (Pretty Little Liars, Host of Women on Top Podcast). Other celebrities and VIPs slated to attend: actor Corey Feldman (Stand By Me, The Lost Boys, Goonies), singer/songwriter/producer Taryll Jackson (The Jackson’s Next Generation, host of The Power of Love Show), actress/model Helena Mattson (Iron Man 2, 666 Park Avenue), Duncan Bravo (Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger), Kiowa Gordon (Twilight sagas), Ava Kolker (Disney’s Sydney to the Max, Girl Meets World), actress/singer/philanthropist Carly Peeters (former Miss Teen California, Miss Teen International), actor DeMark Thompson (NCIS: Los Angeles, Veep), and dancer/choreographer Ricky Palomino (So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Moms).

A national public charity, First Star has worked since 1999 for America’s abused and neglected children by strengthening their rights, illuminating systemic failures, and igniting necessary reforms. Since 2011, First Star has focused on college readiness for transition age foster youth through the First Star Academy program, which equips foster youth for success in college and beyond. “Education is the pivot that turns lives blighted by abuse or neglect towards happy, productive, and engaged futures,” said First Star’s President, Peter Samuelson. This summer First Star received an amazing boost to its mission, as Governor Newsom earmarked $740K in the CA Budget to establish a First Star Academy at Sacramento State, greatly increasing the number of California foster youth prepared to succeed in college. Nationally, less than 50% of foster youth graduate high school and less than 10% go to college. To date, 99% of participating First Star scholars have graduated high school, and 89% have gone on to higher education. 

Additional information, tickets and sponsorship packages for First Star’s 20th Anniversary Celebration are available through First Star’s website: www.firststar.org/how-you-can-help/attend-an-event/

For more information, please contact Erin Buchanan: erin.buchanan@firststar.or

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