What is the one thing you wish people knew about the foster care system from your perspective?
The one thing that I wish people knew about the foster care system is that we are not any different than anyone else, so please do not treat us that way. We are just as qualified to succeed in life as anyone else. If anything, we are now survivors, thrivers, stronger, more independent, successful and unique individuals with a passion to share our story with others so it does not get repeated.
What was the key takeaway from your experience of Foster Youth Shadow Day last year?
I learned that I can be whatever I want to be, and if I want to see change in the system I need to speak up and not be afraid to advocate for myself, those currently in the system, and the ones to come. A quote that I got from this experience is “Nothing about me, without me”. I learned that my voice as a former foster youth is just as powerful as someone in legislation. They are very interested in hearing our opinions and perspectives on the system and how it could be improved.