FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Press Contacts:
GALE GERINGER (307) 634-8195


A Second Chance For At-risk Youth

A Second Chance For At-risk Youth
By Crystal R. Albers
calbers@torringtontelegram.com

CHEYENNE – Last week, Susan Thomas and her administrative assistant, Ally Sanders, toured part of the state, including Torrington, in an effort to raise awareness for the Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation.

The non-profit, charitable organization, now in its seventh year, has been successful in helping numerous at-risk Wyoming youth become productive citizens. “It was borne out of love,” Thomas said.

Thomas established the foundation after her husband’s death in 2008 to aid troubled youth, as well as honor the work U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas did for Wyoming.

Thomas, a former longtime schoolteacher, currently provides 15 scholarships a semester for students ($1,300 for full-time) to attend community colleges, the university, or vocational education programs in Wyoming. Thomas personally mentors each scholarship recipient throughout his or her college experience. “I want to have their back – that’s what I do,” she said.

Thomas requires that all recipients re-up for the scholarship each semester, as well as sign a contract and pass all classes. The students must also be willing to keep Thomas updated on their progress. “When they sign up for their classes, I have to approve them,” she said. “It works.”

Currently, Thomas is assisting three nursing students, aspiring welders, a future engineer, politician and social workers.

The foundation also offers an annual leadership award to residents in the community who help at-risk youth. Peers must nominate an individual before he or she can be considered for the award. “It’s someone whose gone way out of their way (to help kids),” Thomas said. “They receive a $2,500 cash prize, and we have a big party.”

Additionally, Thomas presents grants to organizations and groups that support the foundation’s goals and champion Wyoming's youth. The average grant amount is $2,000. “We’re a unique organization,” she said.

The Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and accepts donations throughout the year.

For more information regarding scholarships, the leadership award or grants, please visit the foundation’s website at www.thomas-foundation.com.

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