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Shay’s Story

Meet foster alum Shay and hear her story about 45 placements, over 23 different schools and tons of numbing medications that all negatively impacted her ability to learn. Shay is now earning her degree at Mills College in California. Here she is describing her experiences and giving other foster youth some invaluable advice:

If I could give advice to anyone in foster care, I would say, DO NOT GIVE UP! No matter who doubts you, no matter how many social workers say you aren’t going to make it, no matter how many case workers come in and out of your life, just know that the best thing you can do for yourself to set you free is to get an education. If I can do it, I know you can. I was in 45 placements, in more than 23 schools and given every medication you can think of during my time in foster care. The instability and foggy head that were my “normal” has definitely negatively impacted my ability to retain information and acquire the skill sets that are needed to do well in higher education. But I seek extra tutoring all the time to ensure that I succeed. I have to. Education is the only way for us to not become a statistic but also the only way we’re going to be able to change the system for future generations of foster youth. We know better than anyone what needs to change, and with an education, we’ll be empowered to do it. Do not doubt yourself or what you’re capable of.

School yourself on the challenges that so many foster youth face while trying to stay in school and get their education here.

Published on May 8, 2017 as part of Children’s Rights’ “Fostering the Future” campaign. The opinions expressed herein are those of the blog author and do not necessarily represent the views of Children’s Rights or its employees. Children’s Rights has not verified the author’s account.