Mississippi Stories: Rita Soronen

On this episode of Mississippi Stories, Mississippi Today Editor-At-Large Marshall Ramsey sits down with Rita Soronen, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Leading the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national nonprofit public charity, since 2001 and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption-Canada since 2004, Soronen works to find adoptive families for the more than 150,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems.

Under her leadership, the Foundation has significantly increased its grant-making while developing strategic initiatives that act on the urgency of the issue. In 2021, the Foundation dedicated more than $40.9 million to grants and award-winning programs, such as Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, Adoption-Friendly Workplace and National Adoption Day.

Additionally, through public service announcements, social media campaigns, articles, events, sponsorships and more, the Foundation is building awareness around the growing need for foster care adoption. Marshall caught up with Soronen when she was in Mississippi to announce a partnership with the Mississippi Department of Children Protection Services.


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Marshall Ramsey, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist, shares his cartoons and travels the state as Mississippi Today’s Editor-At-Large. He’s also host of a weekly statewide radio program and a television program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and is the author of several books. Marshall is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a 2019 recipient of the University of Tennessee Alumni Professional Achievement Award.