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Enduring Legacy of Love and Support

Jan Beran keeps a small, weathered birthday book. Printed perfectly on the pages are the names of the 40-plus kids Jan and her husband, George, welcomed into their home as a foster family for YSS. The first – a boy – was in 1981.

“He stayed a little over two weeks,” Jan points out, looking at the entry.

For more than 20 years the Berans fostered boys and girls in their home. The last – a mother and her baby – was in February 2002.

“For some of the kids that was the first time they sat down for a meal,” Jan recalled.

It’s been more than two decades since being a foster family. But the contributions to YSS haven’t stopped. Jan has served on multiple boards, and in the latest chapter her family donated $500,000 to Ember Recovery Campus.

“They are doing such important work, we thought we could share,” Jan says. “We wanted to be a part of it.”

Important work is something Jan and her husband know a little about. For 13 years they were missionaries in the Philippines. In 1973 the family returned to Ames where George was a Distinguished Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology at Iowa State. Jan taught History of Physical Education and Sport International Comparative Physical Education and Technology and Social Change from 1976-1992.

Jan has been a youth group leader, Sunday School teacher, and has held many leadership positions in professional organizations. And she’s authored two books, including From Six on Six to Full Court Press: A Century of Girls Basketball.

She’s touched countless lives. One boy, who was with the Berans for eight months, was so inspired he, too, became a foster parent.

“He and his wife and children stopped at our house,” Jan remembers. “And we learned that two of the three children with them they had adopted because their mother was in prison.”

The Berans’ impact on youth is immeasurable – from providing a healthy, safe environment for youth to their donations to Ember Recovery Campus – they have put kids first for over 40 years.

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