UPDATE 2/15/2011 5:30pm by Jill Chandler
Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate black history month Tuesday at TCC.
People remembered the courageous African Americans before them, and focused on what can be done for future generations.
Lt. Governor Carroll gave her keynote speech, and urged people in the community to keep improving the black community.
An African Dance group from TCC performed, and the Lieutenant Governor surprised everyone by jumping up and dancing too.
The event was put on by the Florida Department of Children and Families, which is close to Carroll's heart since she is an adopted child, as well.
The event on Tuesday also shined a light on courageous African Americans that are making a difference in the local community.
"These are unsung heroes from former foster youth to families that have taken the time to adopt children that are in need," said Pat Smith, Florida Department of Children and Families.
Lt. Governor Carroll says adopted children are special, because they are chosen.
Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox said, "I happen to be one of those adopted children that was left in a situation and my aunt came to me up and it just changed my life."
Among those recognized at the event, were people who work with foster care children, those who adopt, and one special TCC student who is a foster care success story.
Keyonia Graham said, "You know no matter what your situation is, you know you're not different because I thought me being in foster care was you know, I was different. But, I had a lot of wonderful people and I had a lot of support so it just kept my confidence up."
Now Graham is out on her own, she is giving back to her community by mentoring foster children and other TCC students formerly in foster care.
20 to 30 African American children are adopted in the Tallahassee area per year, and more than 400 in the state of Florida.
Tallahassee, FL –
The Florida Department of Children and Families announced today that Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll will keynote the 4th Annual Black History Month Celebration, which will be held on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 10:30 a.m. at Tallahassee Community College in the Turner Auditorium. The Department will be celebrating the notable contributions that African-Americans have made to the State of Florida and their communities with the theme: “Keeping the Dream Alive through Faith, Family, and Future: A Bridge to Success.”
In partnership with One Church One Child of Florida and Tallahassee Community College, the Department will honor 13 local citizens, including adoptive and foster families and former foster youth, for their exceptional leadership skills.
“Black history is a celebration of culture and heritage, achievements and milestones. It’s the past, present and future. I’m proud of the accomplishments of the men and women who blazed the trail for me. It’s through their sacrifices, bold leadership, and commitment to faith that we can celebrate the successes of today”, said Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll.
As Black History Month is celebrated throughout the country, the Department wants to recognize and thank individuals and local organizers, including employees for their everyday commitment to improving the lives of our most vulnerable citizens in our communities.