My Past Did Not Define Me, It Designed Me

By Shandreka Jones

My 17-year-old mother was in foster care when she had me. She left me with her mother, whom she ran away from years earlier because of abuse. My grandmother carried the abuse down to me and I still have a half-inch scar above my right eye from when she pushed me into the dining room […]

A Chapter in My Life

By Ollie Hernandez

Ever since I was a kid, I knew that I wanted to become something great – whether it was a doctor, a lawyer or a princess. It always seemed that I was meant to accomplish something big. However, life isn’t easy and, at a young age, I got thrown one hell of a curveball. My […]

From Crime to Counselor — and How Foster Care Helped

By Vannak Kong

Growing up in the cold, hard streets of Lowell, Massachusetts, it was easy to get wrapped up in some kind of trouble. I always looked up to my older brother so it was inevitable I started gang banging just like he did. It was all we knew. Living in a lower-class neighborhood with immigrant parents […]

An Anchor

By Carrie Dahlin

My son Robert went through a lot of instability in his first year. My husband and I first met him when we brought him home from the hospital at just 2 days old. The plan was for Robert and his sister Katie, whom we were already fostering, to stay with us for a short time […]

My Only Way Out

By Sixto Cancel

I was 11 months old when the state took me away from a home where my mother used heroin and strange men paid the bills. How could a woman struggling with drug addiction possibly care for the fifth of her eight children? The state decided I would have a better life in foster care. They […]

Pseudo Lock Down

By Briana

I’ll never forget when I entered my second placement in foster care. It was January 27, 2006, the day I was separated from my sister. I was fifteen at the time, and had only entered foster care a month before. My sister (who is nine years younger) was in the car with the social worker, […]

Taking a Pledge to Help Kids in Foster Care

By Michael Place

I once lived in an overcrowded, roach infested, public housing apartment in Astoria, Queens. From her lack of concern, you would think my foster mom enjoyed the roaches’ company. I certainly didn’t, and so I reported my discomfort to my social worker. The home was shut down, and my foster brother, Elijah, and I moved […]

From the Projects to Purpose

By Maisha Guy

My story is not typical of children who enter the foster care system. My mother was 15 when she had me. We grew up together, her mother raising both of us, in the Los Angeles projects once known as Aliso Village. I did not suffer horrific family tragedy; on the contrary, we were a very […]

Fostering My Own Aspirations

By Jessica Maxwell

Before foster care, I lived with my grandmother, my uncle and my older brother. I can’t remember exactly what age I was, but as a young girl I decided I would be a lawyer. I lived in poor communities where drugs, hunger and homelessness were normal, and I wanted to help people who were unable […]