Foster home grads honored
By Tim Yovich
Three graduates from foster homes already know what they plan for their lives.
WARREN — Three young people who had a difficult start in life were honorees at a high school graduation celebration Tuesday.
Edward Eason and Nicole Koniowsky, both 18, and Kelly Coles, 19, are foster children and were honored by Trumbull County Children Services during a luncheon at the Mocha House restaurant.
Eason, of Girard, had some problems with anger. His mother couldn’t afford to take care of him, his father was addicted to alcohol and drugs and his grandmother couldn’t care for him.
Children services found Roseann Frye, who has four adopted children, to care for and guide him.
Eason graduated this year from Girard High School and Trumbull Career and Technical Center where he studied electrical technology for two years. He will be attending Triangle Tech school in Pittsburgh with an eye on becoming a commercial electrician.
“I like school. That’s my favorite thing to do,” Eason said, noting he will be keeping in touch with his old friends and is certain he will make new ones.
Koniowsky has been fostered by Amy Senne in Bristol since March. Before then, she lived for 41‚Ñ2 years with a foster family in Kinsman.
Her mother, she says, is on drugs and she never knew her father.
“He’s been in and out of jail all my life so I really don’t know where he is,” Koniowsky said.
She says being in foster care is like being on a “roller coaster” ride. “You never know what’s going to happen the next day. It’s confusing.”
Despite the uphill battle, Koniowsky graduated from Joseph Badger High School and will begin studying to become an accountant.
Coles, of Hubbard, graduated this year from both TCTC and Hubbard High School. She is looking for a job in dog grooming.
She has been in foster care for 18 or 19 years with Linda and Kenneth Barrett.
“They’re wonderful,” she said of her foster parents.
Cole said she never knew her biological parents or anything about them, nor does she have any inclination to find them.
“I’m content where I am,” she commented.
Judge Cynthia W. Rice of the 11th District Court of Appeals told the graduates that there are a number of routes to take in life.
“The right one is the one that is right for you,” Judge Rice said as she commended them for having an idea of what they want to do in life.
“We should stop and think about what makes us happy,” the judge told them. “Life should be fun,” she added.
Judge Rice told them they may change their destination during life. “Don’t just drive around aimlessly. You have so much to learn,” she said.