Dream, believe and achieve. It's the message the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is sharing with the state's foster children.
The agency's Champs Camp, a three day program for ages 11-17, was hosted by Chipola College in Marianna. All day Wednesday, kids learned about potential career opportunities.
For some, the camp was a day for girls to be girls at the college's cosmetology school. "We're mainly just doing a little fluff to give them a little bit of style and give them a little bit of pampering," Ada Scott, Assistant Instructor, said.
While getting her nails done, Camera, 17, got a feel for college life. "It's a good opportunity for kids to come learn about college and the different things that they could do," she said.
Ten adopted and foster children participated in the camp. "College may be something they've heard of but may not have ever envisioned that it would be something that they could do," Kelly Faircloth, DCF Field Services Coordinator, said. "They get that real life experience."
A few doors down from the salon, other kids got their hands greasy Chipola's automotive technology garage.
"If you don't like cars don't work with it," Sarah, 12, said. "If you don't like getting dirty, don't do it."
The campers spent the day learning about brakes. Automotive students demonstrated how to remove calipers from rotors and how to determine whether brake pads need replacing.
John Gardner, Automotive Technology Instructor, is the father of an adopted child. "Everybody deserves an opportunity to go out there and succeed," Gardner said. "These kids are no different than anybody else... give them a chance and they're going to do great things."
"If one child leaves here and knows that they could have this opportunity one day to come to college or come to the vocational side of it, then it's worth it," Faircloth said.
Click here to learn more about the DCF Camps for Champions program.