I experienced using my voice at the age of 15 when I had a choice to move back with my father, or stay with my grandfather. This was important and impactful because I had actually got to choose what I thought would be best for me. I had never had that choice until this point. This decision also helped my siblings because it made them look at the situation they were in living with my father. Having a voice for the first time made me feel content and safe for the first time. I realized I was going to be okay going from this point on. Not being able to stick up for myself and my siblings was really hard on all of us. We didn’t want to be separated between the two houses, and we didn’t like not knowing what was going on. We hated being confused all the time. It felt awful to not have a voice in anything. It was confusing and scary all the time. I had constant anxiety because there was nothing I could say to make the decision go one way or the other. I was always worried about losing the first stable family I had since I was 13 when my mother passed away. I was asked what I wanted to do and where I wanted to live. I was actually just answering a question and signing a piece of paper, but it was one of my most important decisions ever. In the past, I was asked if I was happy where I was living at, but it didn’t really feel like anyone was actually listening. I believe this experience made me a better listener, especially for my family. That is my story. I hope this helps you find your voice.
Allison Victoria Redd is a high school graduate who aged out of the foster care system. She says going to school helped her come out of her shell and that her work helps her advocate for her siblings.