Age 24 , Boston MA
Place in care at age 15 – aged out
4 homes, 3 different social workers & 3 different high schools
She has 1 birthday wish.
I was born premature 2lbs and 10 oz, my birth mother passed away from lymphoma when I was 5 months old.
At age 3, my father married my step mother, who was mentally and physically abusive. My father carried on the cycle of “neglect” from his family history.
Now looking back I was quiet person, didn’t do drugs and got good grades. But what I didn’t have back then was my voice, to ask for all the things I needed and the courage to speak. My childhood has silenced me along with all of it’s horrors.
In fourth grade I finally got the courage to report it while my best friend at the time held my hand. There was no life boat.
In ninth grade I broke down and became depressed and no longer saw the light in life.
Finally at age 15 I was placed in foster care. I was placed in 4 homes, 3 different social workers, and was in 3 different High Schools.
At age 18 I aged out of the system, dropped out of school to support myself. I refused to go to job corp, because I wanted a High school Diploma and not a GED. I wanted the normal experience, something all my friends around me got. I highly don’t recommend going this route. I support Job Corp very much.
My journal entry on my 18th birthday read “Happy Birthday me, I’m turning 18. Honestly I am freaking – scared…”
Scared to death, of trying to find where I was going to sleep, and eat. I had so many doors close, and so many people turning there back. My best friend and mentor “RD”, believed in me, but didn’t see how it was possible. “Next to homeless and wanting desperately to get a high school diploma.” Something needed to be done. He finally brought me to his church pastor. Saving grace. Thank God! I was linked up to a family that provide me room and board in exchange for helping w/the kids, meals, and etc, and a chance at getting my high school diploma! I repeated my junior year. My senior year had my own place, and at one point juggled 3 jobs and full time high school.
2004 I finally graduated with a high school diploma!!! I was the keynote speaker at the Department of Education Conference, MA. ” (About) Over coming homelessness in High school.” In front of 400 teachers and social workers.
Today, I am proud to say that “I have beat the odds.”
I am a member of Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA)
FCAA’s mission is to connect the alumni community and transform policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care. I am currently trying to put an MA Chapter together.
I am an avid foodie, I love to cook, and bake, comedy improv lover and Big thinker. I enjoy rock climbing ( indoors that is.) I have two note pads next to my bed, one for recipe and menu planning, and the other for all my “big ideas” in hopes that someday I will turn my dream of owning my own non profit helping foster youth into a reality. I’ve been dreaming since 2002, cause no child should have to experience what I have.
No child asks to be placed in the system, no child asks to be homeless on their 18th birthday either.
I will be turning 25 in May. (May is also National Foster care Awareness Month) I am very excited and happy to announce this will be my 2nd annual using my birthday “instead of gifts” to donate to an organization that helps with foster care youth that are aging out of the system, that will experience homelessness. I started to donate my birthday to causes because I am just one person who has a big enough voice and heart.
I wanted to do something, to help. I want my experience to inspire people to help, and also bring healing and hope to those who have to age out of the system. And to create awareness.
I am happy to say I have chosen do 1 thing! My wish for foster youth that are aging out for the system, is to have a fighting chance, and a hope to lead happy, healthy lives.
No child asks to be placed in the system, no child asks to be homeless on their 18th birthday either. So help by doing 1 thing.
My 25th b-day wish to support homeless foster youth!