Following The First Lady

Lady Mary Pat Christie Names Irene deGrandpre as the 23rd New Jersey Hero
photoAlt Irene deGrandpre recognized that a real need existed to help young people outgrowing the foster care system. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, she watched many of them fall through the cracks due to lack of funds, a place to live, and a job. Using her experiences with CASA as inspiration, Irene, along with help from family and friends, started the Roots & Wings Foundation in 1999. What began as a community-based, volunteer organization has grown into a well-established social service agency serving young adults ages 17 through 25 who have experienced foster care or other out of home placements at some points during their lives. Roots & Wings offers an incredible amount of support for these at-risk youth and teaches them how to become self-sufficient members of society.

Mrs. Christie toured the facilities in Denville with Irene and members of her team and had the chance to sit down with a current client, his mentor, and a graduate of the program. She was moved by their stories and was thoroughly impressed with the work this organization accomplishes. There is a real need for services like the ones offered at Roots & Wings, which is why Mrs. Christie is proud to name Irene her 5th New Jersey Hero of 2013 and the 23rd hero since the program began in December of 2010. For more information about Roots & Wings, please visit the organization’s website at Congratulations, Irene, and keep up the great work!