Some children working hard to overcome difficult circumstances will benefit from a new education fund established by Robert and Willa Bernhard. Their endowment of $100,000 will reward children in the Guardian ad Litem Program who have shown a commitment to their studies and have overcome personal and academic challenges.
The Bernhards’ gift will support the Academic Awards Program established in 2013 by the Jack O’Donnell bequest. Mr. O’Donnell, a longtime Guardian ad Litem volunteer, believed in the importance of education and wanted to recognize children in care who have shown effort and improvement.
“Our intent is to make sure the awards continue for these hard-working foster kids – kids who understand how important their education is to their future,” said Robert Bernhard.
The Children’s Guardian Fund, explained President Carol Belmont, is a privately funded organization that partners with the Guardian ad Litem Program to support children in foster and state care, as well as those aging out of care. This includes more than 1,500 children who have been abandoned, neglected or abused, and are currently in the care of the 12th Judicial Circuit courts.