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Former foster child surprised with car at Madison business where she works

Hard work and saving pays off for young woman presented with a car at Ice and Vice
Riyah works for the specialty ice cream business and is a former foster child.
Riyah works for the specialty ice cream business and is a former foster child.(WLBT)
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 11:10 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2021 at 2:11 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Madison business has made it their mission to support children in foster care and young adults who have aged out of foster care.

Ice and Vice is giving hope, skills, educational opportunities and transportation. We find out why the owners and those they help are Mississippi Strong.

This Prius was presented to Riyah who works for Ice and Vice. She saved money, received a...
This Prius was presented to Riyah who works for Ice and Vice. She saved money, received a transportation scholarship, and help from First Place for Youth to get her first car.(WLBT)

In addition to all the sweet and unique treats at Ice and Vice in Madison, there is a special employment program that gives children in foster care and those who have aged out of the system work experience, mentoring and a transportation scholarship that help with the purchase of their first vehicle.

Sarah Dale Harmon said, “One of the reasons we’re so passionate about helping teenagers in foster care is because we’ve actually adopted all four of our children out of foster care.”

Justin Harmon said, “We’ve worked with around seven foster kids that have come to us and what our goal is, is like Sarah Dale said, was to give them some life skills, just general life skills and help them move on and we hope this is a positive impact on their life.”

The recipient of the bi-annual scholarship this time around is Riyah.

Riyah begins classes at Holmes Community College Monday and plans to attend Jackson State...
Riyah begins classes at Holmes Community College Monday and plans to attend Jackson State University to become a social worker.(WLBT)

“Life right now is really hard for me because I’m having to worry about transportation and stuff like that, so I’m really grateful and thankful that they did give me the car,” Riyah said.

Throughout the year there are fund raisers to help with the scholarship and other opportunities.

Along with the Prius, Riyah received a full tank of gas, a month of free car washes and got help with a budget for expenses and oil changes.

“It’s a miracle that I did get a car at the time that I did need it,” said Riyah.

Samantha Kalahar, Mississippi Director for First Place For Youth, said, “We’re working with these youth to make sure when they leave the foster care system, and the relative safety of that system, that they’re not ending up homeless. That they’re not ending up with incarceration.”

Monday the Harmons will help Riyah set up car insurance and register her tag.

For Riyah and other participants, it is about much more than a car - it is showing they are not forgotten and they too are Mississippi Strong.

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