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At-Risk Students Celebrate Graduation with Special Event

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THE WOODLANDS, TX – Angel Reach, the Montgomery County nonprofit focused on meeting the needs of youth who have aged out of the foster care system and those living with relatives in kinship homes, hosted their annual “Always Pursue” graduation ceremony Saturday, June 2, 2023. The event celebrates the academic accomplishments of at-risk graduates who are homeless, have aged out of the foster care system, or are living in residential treatment centers or in Child Protective Services.

Always Pursue 2023 Graduation 2023 Angel Reach
Photo courtesy of Angel Reach.

Sixteen students from Montgomery and Harris Counties, identified through area organizations like Angel Reach and the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPW), were honored with full Pomp and Circumstance, including cap and gown, commencement speaker, and a walk across the stage to receive a diploma. Each graduate also received a new laptop computer and “Day One” bag that contained a quilt, towels, journal, Bible, and other necessities for taking the next step in their lives.

Three students were chosen from written essays to receive $500 scholarships. The selected winners announced they will continue their education at Lone Star College, Petra College, and the police department’s K-9 training facility.

“According to statistics we receive, nearly 900 children are identified as homeless in just the Conroe Independent School District, and there are more each year living in foster care and kinship homes. Those numbers are even greater in Harris County,” said Latonia Jackson, Angel Reach Community Engagement Coordinator. “It puts them at extreme risk for life-long poverty, substance abuse, time in jail, and homelessness. Earning a high school diploma or GED is an important part of seeing a more hopeful future.”




The theme for this year’s “Always Pursue,” held at The Loft located at The Woodlands Methodist Church, was “The Tassel was Worth the Hassel!” Volunteers from CASA and CPS spent hours decorating; supporters donated food; and event sponsor Anything Bundt Cakes provided bundtinis. After the ceremony, graduates and their guests enjoyed games, music and a 360-photo booth. Support from sponsors Microsoft and Apple Computers was also instrumental in the success of the event.

“It’s such an important event for these young people. There is so many things in their lives that they’ve missed out on because of their circumstances – things that most kids take for granted – and yet they’ve still accomplished this goal, despite all the obstacles. We’re proud of these students and happy to acknowledge and celebrate this success,” said Latonia Jackson.

Information for ways to support the youth at Angel Reach is available online at

Angel Reach breaks the generational cycle of abuse, neglect, and homelessness by equipping homeless and aged-out foster youth to live independently, as well as providing critical services and support to relatives serving as caregivers.

Dedicated to the continued development of programs to prevent homelessness for Montgomery County foster care alumni ages 16-24 since 2004, Angel Reach is a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Conroe, Texas. Additionally, Angel Reach serves and supports kinship families and the children living with relatives after being removed from a neglectful or abusive home. The goals are to help children and young adults achieve their full potential despite the obstacles by providing employment assistance, education advising, counseling, mentoring, tutoring, support groups and additional resources. Angel Reach is a United Way of Greater Houston partner organization.