Press Release - December 2, 2010

Contact:  Kelly Bachman
302-633-2501 or 302-299-9791

Delaware Youth in Foster Care Vie for $50,000 Grant Through Pepsi Refresh Project

WILMINGTON, DE – The Delaware Youth Advisory Council (YAC), made up of current and former youth in foster care, is one of over a thousand ideas being voted on this month as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project. If selected, they would be one of 32 ideas receiving a total of $1.3 million dollars this month alone.   

Their project submission focuses on empowering today’s foster child to be tomorrow’s leader. The funding, they say, will be used towards enrichment activities for school age children (including sports, day camps and music lessons), school pictures, prom tickets and class ring purchases, as well as care packages and dorm room supplies for post-secondary students.

“The youth in our foster care system have faced some traumatic experiences in their home life,” said Vivian Rapposelli, Secretary of the Delaware Children’s Department. “While we provide them with a safe living environment and with adults who will help them develop their self-esteem, we can’t always provide them with the ‘extras’ that make childhood memorable. This grant money would provide a greater sense of normalcy for our youth and give them the opportunity to experience opportunities that most children take for granted.”

Delaware’s YAC is comprised of current and former youth in foster care and provides a safe and respectful forum for youth to share ideas, opinions and concerns and develop leadership skills by planning and facilitating activities. They participate in various community service events and were recognized with a 2009 Governor’s Award.

Voting for the project began on December 1 and runs through December 31. Supporters must register online and can vote directly for this project by visiting Each idea can receive one vote per person, per day and each person can cast up to 10 votes per day.

“There are so many ways that our community can come together and support children in foster care, but this is certainly one of the easiest,” said Rapposelli. “Our children are our future – our responsibility and we owe it to them to take a moment out of our day to show them we care.” 

The Delaware Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, dependent, or have mental health or substance abuse problems, and/or have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts. For more information, please visit

Our Mission: The Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families assists children, youth and families in making positive changes through programs that support child and public safety, behavioral health and individual, family and community well-being.