Woman making difference for foster kids

Positively Jax winner Tonya Brown: 'These children deserve a chance'

Tanya Sinclair Brown has been helping kids stay on their feet after aging out of foster care. She has been awarded the Positively Jax Award for herwork.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When a child who is in the foster care system reaches a certain age they can no longer benefit from foster parent programs.

Unfortunately many of these children lose their way when there is no one there to love and mentor them. That's where Tonya Sinclair Brown comes in, making a Positively Jax difference by devoting her life to making sure these kids don't fall through the cracks.

Brown is all about children. She and her husband have two biological children and 20 god-children. They recently adopted four children and are also taking care of three young men and providing housing for three young women -- young adults who have aged out of foster care.

"These kids deserve a chance, just like my children had," said Brown. "They just want to know somebody cares.

Tanya says these children deserve a chance and deserve to have someone in their lives to love and nurture them. To help them build life skills they'll need to be successful in life.

"Once there's nobody to let them know they're cared for, a lot of these kids fall through the cracks," Brown said. "I just want them to know somebody cares."

This selfless woman is a breast cancer survivor -- in remission for two years -- and nurse advocate at an area hospital. She is also furthering her education taking classes at Jacksonville University while dedicating herself to helping others.

Marcel Jenkins, now part of Brown's extended family, is attending college. He says being part of this huge household has been a positive influence on his future.

"At first it took some adjusting," according to Jenkins. "But now we're all like brothers and sisters."

And to make sure she can continue to foster love for these former foster children, she set up a foundation called Mikey's Place in honor of her brother ,who was murdered when he was 20. It's also a tribute to this woman who has made a Positively Jax difference in the lives of so many children.

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