Heroes Breakfast/Robin Hood Foundation
The Robin Hood Heroes Award is given annually to outstanding organizations that have shown examples of leadership in the fight against poverty. They have supported New Yorkers in their efforts to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, showing us the resiliency of the human spirit.
Recipient of Heroes Award: Lawyers for Children, featuring Demetrius Johnson
What is it like to be raised by the foster care system? Demetrius Johnson describes it as a rollercoaster. Child Protective Services took him from his mom as an infant due to drug abuse and neglect. By the time he was in kindergarten he had lived in three foster homes.
Demetrius thought he had found his “forever mom” when he was adopted at 6 by Mrs. Johnson. But life was not peaceful at the Johnson home. Seven years later she gave Demetrius back to the system in what’s called a broken adoption. Impossibly, Demetrius’ childhood got harder. He moved constantly — living in 25 foster homes and attending four high schools — and lost trust in authority.
Demetrius seemed destined to become another sad statistic. Except he didn’t. Almost miraculously, caring adults began to take notice of Demetrius and recognize his potential. His attorney at Lawyers For Children, Laura Daley, helped him find a safe, stable home and transfer to a good high school. He graduated with a Regent’s Diploma and 3.6 GPA.
Today, Demetrius is living with a loving and supportive foster family and will soon be legally adopted by another couple. He is studying for his Associate’s Degree at St. John’s University and plans to transfer to NYU next fall to study law. As a Youth Ambassador for Lawyers For Children, Demetrius relays his experiences in the foster care system and with the miracle workers at Lawyers For Children.