I am an individual among many voices like mine. I am not seeking acknowledgment or sympathy but an understanding of circumstances, and the “reality” of individuals like me. I come from many places, but I only like to recognize two because they have molded me into who I am today. I was raised in North Carolina during my innocent and curious years, and developed, and shifted my mindset on belonging in New York City. I am a girl drenched in the trials and tribulations of foster care and have survived to the present day due to support from agencies such as the Fostering Youth Success Alliance (FYSA). I felt that becoming a FYSA advocate was a fantastic opportunity that would give myself and my peers the platform to be ourselves. Also, I wanted the opportunity to share and support individuals who have yearned for belonging and understanding of their wants and needs that have been stifled by the support they wished they had, and guidance they were lacking along their respective journey. As a FYSA advocate, I am most interested in being a champion of advocacy and leadership for my peers, so they understand that there are resources to support their growth and stability, whether they have the guidance or not.
I am highly interested in public policy, global warming, bullying, hidden identities, systemic racism, and supporting poor communities and infrastructure because these social issues impact me by no choice of mine; however, I don't have to suffer because of them. I want to work toward the future that will mitigate or manage the struggles these social issues cause others. The voices and experiences of foster care youth are unique, and so many stories go unknown and unnoticed because this label is ridiculed because of struggles you had no choice of being a part of. As an advocate, I want to empower the label of “Foster Care Youth” and continue to share my story so that others can feel empowered by their shortcomings. I strongly believe that it is not a dishonor but a badge of tenacity and resilience and thus should be shared as one.