January 19, 2023
Friends Austin Youth & Mentors Meet World Champion Gymnast Simone Biles
Simone Biles unveiled a limited-edition Wheaties box & Friends of the Children announced a new Houston chapter at "Breakfast of Champions"
JAN. 19, 2023 (HOUSTON) – Friends of the Children Ambassador Simone Biles and Wheaties hosted a ‘Breakfast of Champions’ event to unveil her second limited-edition Wheaties box at the World Champions Center in Spring, Texas where Friends Austin youth and mentors were invited to attend as special guests.
The Wheaties box celebrates Biles’ personal journey that has served as a catalyst for her continued support and advocacy for children in foster care, including her efforts with Friends of the Children that have helped the organization launch a new chapter: Friends of the Children – Houston.
“I am honored to be featured on my second Wheaties box and grateful for the opportunity to highlight Friends of the Children, an extraordinary organization that is working to make sure other youth have access to mentors and the support to dream big in life,” said Biles. “I hope my journey can be an example to all children that anything is possible, and I’m excited to help expand access to resources and mentorship in my hometown with the launch of the Friends of the Children—Houston chapter!”
Joined by family, friends, and youth from Friends of the Children-Austin, Biles shared her personal journey with foster care and adoption to help inspire today’s youth to not let life circumstances define who they are or deter them from pursuing their dreams. The launch of Friends – Houston creates a larger footprint in Texas and marks the national organization’s 29th location overall.
“Friends of the Children could not be more thrilled to announce the Houston chapter launch with Ms. Biles and the team at General Mills,” said Terri Sorensen, National CEO of Friends of the Children. “Their support was instrumental in bringing a chapter to Houston. It is also such a meaningful moment for our organization–and the youth we serve–to be featured on the iconic Wheaties box alongside a true champion for youth.”
Friends – Houston, under the leadership of Brandon T. Denton, M.B.A., will begin identifying and enrolling children in the greater Houston area to welcome its first cohort of youth ages 4 to 6 years old, and by extension their families, later this year. The chapter aims to partner with key institutions, including DePelchin Children’s Center, Houston Independent School District and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Their initial focus will be on supporting children and families in areas across Houston who have been disproportionately impacted by foster care and other systemic issues.
To date, more than $1.5 million in seed capital has been raised to launch the chapter. Several notable funders and community members have been instrumental in bringing the chapter to Houston, including Simone Biles, WoodNext Foundation, MacKenzie Scott, Axonius, General Mills, Subway, Stand Together Foundation, Duncan and Cindy Campbell, Jim Gilligan, and Kenny and Elena Marks.
"We are incredibly grateful to everyone in the community for coming together and recognizing that Houston children experiencing trauma are in need of more support,” said Nancy Atlas, retired United States District Judge and Friends – Houston Founding Board Member.
Friends Austin youth were thrilled to be in attendance at this exciting event. Youth and Friends had the wonderful opportunity to ask Simone Biles questions about her career and to take photos together -- creating memories that will last a lifetime.