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California First Lady Maria Shriver will be honored for her commitment to “empowering, educating and inspiring youth and at-risk families” at the 6th Brass Rings Awards Dinner on April 16th.

Funds raised from the dinner, held by the United Friends of the Children at the Beverly Hills Hotel, will benefit foster youth who participate in the group’s housing and education programs. This year’s dinner will also celebrate UFC’s 30th Anniversary of providing foster youth in Los Angeles County with the resources necessary to finish high school, prepare for college, and develop skills to live independently. Support services are also provided to the 2,000+ current and former foster children that work with the organization; while participants develop the skills necessary to address their most immediate needs, youth are also provided a supportive environment in which they can address issues relevant to their emotional well-being and sense of identity and self-esteem.

The First Lady recently expanded her WE Connect Campaign, a “public/private partnership designed to help California’s working families become more financially secure by connecting them to important programs and resources.” The initiative seeks to make information about vital resources ranging from tax preparation assistance to help locating local job fairs and tips for financial empowerment readily available through the website’s accessible format as well through community events, media partnerships, and workplace “development centers.” Stemming from the predicament that many miss opportunities for advancing their goals simply because of a lack of awareness about existing resources, the WE Connect Campaign was started to bridge the gap between providers and they people they serve, thus empowering California’s working families to obtain the resources they need to advance their lives.

Shriver has also lent her support to causes that have built playgrounds and created open spaces for children, and serves on numerous boards for organizations such as the International Board for the Special Olympics, and the Women’s Conference.

Visit the official website for the United Friends of the Children and learn how to make a difference in the lives of LA’s foster youth here .

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