Gallery features photos of foster kids

THE BRONX - Several dozen children and teens in foster care from the Bronx have their portraits displayed in the borough president's art gallery in hopes residents will see the pictures and inquire about adoption.

The event, which is called the Heart Gallery, is organized by a Bronx nonprofit called Heart Gallery NYC, as well as the Catholic Guardian Society and Home Bureau. Professional photographers volunteer with Heart Gallery NYC to take portraits of some of the 17,000 foster children in the Bronx. The photos are then showcased in traveling galleries and on the Internet in order to raise awareness about children in foster care and encourage adoption.

Heart Gallery NYC also offers scholarships and mentoring services for foster children who are at risk of aging out of the system without finding a "forever home." Children are no longer considered for adoption once they reach 21 years old. Nineteen-year-old Aisha is one of the many Bronx children featured in the current Heart Gallery.

"You age out of the system at 21," Aisha says. "I always wanted a family; I still have a right to have that."

Heart Gallery NYC

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