INDIANAPOLIS — Every year, for the last six years, the Indianapolis Colts team up with Cargo Services Inc. and the Department of Child Services to host a graduation party for foster children here in Indianapolis. This June, they celebrated 22 high school grads virtually through zoom because of COVID-19.
The event featured speeches from general manager Chris Ballard and quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett. But little did the young adults know, there was another element coming.
"The kids that are graduating here have never been adopted, and now that they're aging out of the system, they'll never be adopted" said Steve Fugate, co-owner of Cargo Services Inc. "Their whole life they've had it rough, so we thought lets acknowledge something they're doing that we can celebrate with them."
On Thursday, the graduates were asked to come to the Marion County DCS office for a special surprise. Outside in the courtyard, the youths watch a pre-recorded video of Chris Ballard congratulating them and revealing a gift: a brand new Microsoft Surface tablet and a Jacoby Brissett jersey.
Hawa Keita is one of the 22 graduates. A native of Guinea, she moved to the United States in 2017 and entered the foster care system soon after. This spring, she graduated from Crispus Attucks and plans to attend Marion University to become a labor and delivery nurse. It was a blessing for Keita who doesn't own a computer.
"So excited because I don't have to spend my allowance anymore to buy a new computer!" Hawa Keita said. "I'm going to keep it to buy new clothes now!"