Foster a Dream Founder: Lori Cohee
“From pain came a dream, from the dream…a purpose.”
After 15 successful years in marketing and business management, Lori Cohee left the corporate world to live out her childhood dream of “making a difference in the lives of children growing up in foster care.”
Ms. Cohee is no stranger to the Child Welfare System. At the age of 12, she was taken from her junior high school in a police car, to a county office, and then to a stranger’s home with only the clothes on her back. The family and life she once knew was gone in a moments’ notice. Her first two years in foster care she was moved in and out of 6 different homes. At the tender age of 14, she tried to take her own life. The constant shuffle, numerous court appearances, and devastating loss of family and identity became more than she could bear. Fortunately, this was a life-changing experience for her; given a second chance, she became determined to beat the odds and live life as a “normal” child. It was this experience that began her dream of “when I grow up, I want to make sure that other foster children don’t lose hope!” Knowing first-hand the struggles foster youth face before, during and after life in foster care, Ms. Cohee built an organization dedicated to assuring that foster children receive the love and support they need to thrive.
Having specialized in marketing communications, web development and corporate training in the areas of technology and graphic design, Ms. Cohee developed programs designed for personal, academic and career success. Understanding the limitations the child welfare system has in being able to provide the important extras that focus on the children’s emotional and social wellbeing, this also became a key component of the organization’s mission.
Ms. Cohee’s favorite expression is “Experience is the key to wisdom, and wisdom is the key to success.” However, she believes this statement is only half true; “it is our struggles that strengthen our wisdom, and our failures that truly define our success.” She takes great pride in knowing that her perseverance and success in the corporate world was simply preparation for what was to be her ultimate purpose.