Building the Strength to Speak Up

By Yaya

At age 9, I entered a moment in my life that would change my future. I waved goodbye to the woman that gave birth to me. I was in a police car, on my way to foster care. At that moment, I felt liberated because I would no longer endure the pain of watching my […]

Fighting for the Future

By Kaylyn Haberland

I was 16 when I was placed in foster care, and I went through four different placements in as many months. I felt like my life was in complete chaos. Not knowing what might happen to me was terrifying. Where would I sleep that night? How would I get to school? Seemingly simple things suddenly […]

Turning Pain into Success

By DaShun Jackson

“One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have parents to call mom and dad,” former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint once said. Like many foster youth, all I wanted was a family to call my own. I wanted parents to tell me that they […]

Fighting to Fix a National Tragedy

By Marcia Robinson Lowry

As our inaugural Fostering the Future campaign comes to a close, we have had the privilege of sharing 24 first-hand accounts of life in state care, as well as the perspective of several dedicated advocates. Some people describe how foster care provided the foundation to become happy, productive adults. “I now have awesome supporters, a […]

A Solution for the Silent Struggle

By Gabrielle Garcia

I had an “identity crisis” during my first year of college. Back home I never had time to reflect. I was always in survival mode. If I wasn’t in school, I was working. If I wasn’t working, I was contacting my caseworkers to make sure they were doing the things I needed them to do. […]

Let Your Past Fuel Your Future

By Dameon “D.” Pichetrungsi

Good day to all, my name is Dameon “D.” Pichetrungsi, and I am a former foster youth from Los Angeles, CA. I was eight years old when a friend’s mother noticed some bruises on my face and arms from a recent beating by my father. The next thing I remember is being taken by the police and […]

Starting From Scratch

By Estefania Gomez

I’ve been alive for 20 years and most of them have been a real challenge to get through. The biggest reason is that I was placed in New York City’s foster care system when I was just three years old. My father had become abusive and my mother shared his drinking problem, which made it […]

Giving Kids in Foster Care a Fair Chance

By Stephen Dixon

One early afternoon, I was sitting under a small flowering mimosa tree in our yard when our neighbor Brenda walked briskly up the road carrying her infant. As she got closer, I could see that Brenda was covered with blood. She explained that she had stabbed a “friend,” that the police were coming and that […]

From Homeless to Hopeful

By Felix Heredia

I spent the summer I turned 13 homeless because my mother thought I was gay. She kicked me out of the house and told me to never come back because she didn’t want a “child of Satan” in her home. I didn’t really understand what was going at the time, I just knew I had […]

They Call It Resilience

By Steffanie Eisenga

The foster care system is the number one establishment in this nation that was built specifically to protect children. In my case it took more than five years of verbal abuse, neglect and rape for me to finally get my protection–not just food, shelter and clothes, but a real loving family who I knew would […]