SA STRONG: Local business woman shares message of hope for RMYA children

She’s the owner of a local Ruth’s Chris Steak House. However, Lana Duke’s purpose in life goes beyond food.

Growing up, Lana Duke aged out of foster care and this holiday season she has a special message for children staying in shelters.

“I try very hard to stay positive. I think that is what we need to do.”

Duke’s positivity is inspiring.

“You can do anything that you want to do every day if you wake up in the morning and say I’m going to make it a great day.”

It’s her attitude that has helped her reach success as a local female entrepreneur.

“You become more resilient because of what’s happened to you,” said Duke.

It’s a reality she once lived. At just 8-months-old, her life changed instantly.

“My mother had heard of a family that took care of foster children. She brought me (there) and they decided that they would take me there for a little while. Well it was 12 years later.” added Duke.

She ended up aging out of foster care.

“I was taken away and lived with many different families for about 3 years. I remember so well those feelings as a child – and I think that is how I relate to all those kids.”

Every Thanksgiving, the restaurant hosts a dinner for the children and teens staying at the Roy Maas Youth Alternatives Shelter in San Antonio.

Due to COVID-19, it was different this year. For the first time in 15 years, the annual dinner had to be cancelled.

“They’ve got to remember the whole world is feeling this. They will be able to say and I really believe this – out of everything bad, always comes something good. It can be painful but that pain can turn around for them,” added Duke.

A reminder this holiday season, to not give up – even during these tough times.

“They will get through it. We will all get through this and we are going to be better for it. I believe that with all my heart. They will be okay,” said Duke.

Duke says she is looking forward to hosting the RMYA kids next year for Thanksgiving.

Fox 29

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