"Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be."
On Thursday, September 19th, we hosted the 3rd Annual "I Defy the Odds" Inspiration Breakfast at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Honorary Co-Chairs Shannon Thrun and Courtney Filing started the event by describing why they support HALO.
"I support HALO because I feel teenagers are often the forgotten segment of society. I have three daughters ages 12, 15, and 17. I can not imagine them spending one night alone on the street" Shannon Thrun.
"I support HALO because as a mother of three, a better future for my kids begins with every child believing in their self-worth and having the tools they need to not just meet but exceed their goals" Courtney Filing.
Founder Rebecca Welsh inspired us by sharing the journey of Kayla, Kaitlyn, Sarah and Frankie and the ways they are defying the odds. She then presented awards to our recent HALO graduates Frankie and Madison.
Our keynote speaker was Christine McDonald. She is a survivor of human trafficking, homelessness and addiction.
Christine is an internationally recognized author and speaker on the social injustices facing under-served and marginalized populations today. She told the story of how she experienced two decades of homelessness, addiction, human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, 103 arrests and 7 prison stints right here in Kansas City.
Christine now uses her life experience as a tool to break stigmas, construct conversations for change and allow the outsiders looking in to see beneath the surface to the humanity of the hurting all around us and the challenges they face. Christine is proof that defying the odds is truly possible.
"Hope changes everything. Don't allow your burdens to be your final destinations."
Thank you to our sponsors!
This breakfast was a celebration of the amazing things that can happen when we surround our youth with the foundation of a family.
If you are interested in learning how to get more involved, visit our wishlist.