Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2nd Corinthians 5:17 It seems utterly natural that Easter should occur in the spring. After all, they both call to mind thoughts of renewal and new life. Those are themes familiar to Saint Francis Ministries as well.

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A few months ago, I arrived at Saint Francis from “Corporate America,” having worked in the private sector in everything from small local companies to a Fortune 1000 company. Often, it was like living in a Dilbert cartoon, right down to the pointy-haired boss and the evil HR cat - only not funny. It had never occurred to me that I would work in the non-profit world, let alone with children and families.

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College basketball’s annual March tournament has begun, and hopefully you’re brackets haven’t broken your heart yet. That said, we also hope you’ll take a day off and divert your attention – for just a little while – on Thursday to a different sort of Madness – Match Madness.

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As a former child in foster care, Kansas law provided for a college tuition waiver, and she took advantage of the opportunity if offered. She earned her bachelor’s degree in human development and family sciences, with a minor in conflict analysis and trauma studies from Kansas State University. Then she went to Oklahoma State University, where she earned a master’s degree in human development with an emphasis in child and family services. She wrote her thesis on single support for youth who grow up in foster care and served an internship with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington, D.C. She also interned with the House Ways and Means Committee under chair Kevin Brady (R-TX). In short, she began to make a splash.

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Every Tuesday, Alexandria Ware meets with a group of young people of color transitioning out of the foster care system. Together, they participate in group activities geared towards healing, advocacy, peer support, fun, and recreation, but mostly they talk. Alexandria’s primary purpose is to get to know them - and to help them know themselves, to discover their real selves.  The group enables them to feel safe, supported, loved, and that they belong.

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For most of us, Valentine’s Day inspires thoughts of romantic love. Unfortunately, it can also provide powerful triggers for persons dealing with trauma. Our guest blogger this week, Director of Clinical Services Pamela Cornwell, offers suggestions to help navigate the holiday.

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