Selfless Love Foundation

October 5 - Mariah H - selfless-love-foundation-foster-youth-voice-month

Mariah H.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Have you ever witnessed anyone successfully Double Dutch on their own? Many of you reading this would probably say no, because to Double Dutch, you have to have support from people and trust that they will turn the rope in a consistent motion so that you can move effectively. Now if you were just jumping a single rope, you could do that by yourself. That is how life is. It is important to have support and permanent connections and to know when to utilize them, just like in Double Dutch. It’s also important for those supportive connections to recognize when they can trust you to complete a task or handle a situation on your own, just like when jumping a single rope. 

Having supportive people and permanent connections in my life has allowed me to see that I can have support and that I can be confident in doing things on my own, knowing that my support has helped instill vital tools for me to use throughout life. There is power in numbers, and I will share my story to show you how. 

When I entered foster care again at 17, I had just left a month-long stay at my local mental health hospital and was homeless and scared. I knew I couldn’t go back to the living arrangement I had because I would constantly be back and forth to that hospital and never get well. I begged to enter foster care because I knew at least I would have a chance to have a different life than what I was dealt. Getting involved with Youth Villages allowed me to revisit the support that I had from early childhood. I was also able to create new supports with boundaries and feel good about setting those boundaries. 

I was always afraid to use my voice because I didn’t have a huge vocabulary which made me insecure about talking to important people. One day while in college, Youth Villages, in Greensboro, North Carolina, invited me to speak to a group of people at a luncheon at the O’ Henry Hotel. I was legit shaking in my boots because I didn’t want them to think I was uneducated. Instead, it turned out to be the most liberating day of my life. Not only did I enjoy it and receive positive feedback, I also continued to do speaking engagements for Youth Villages. It eventually led to other organizations reaching out and asking me to speak. 

There is freedom in having supportive people and permanent connections. There is love in having supportive people and permanent connections. The skies are the limit when you have supportive people and permanent connections. Having people believe in you enough that you believe in yourself is the importance of having supportive people and permanent connections. So, keep practicing Double Dutch because soon you’ll be turning the ropes for someone else. Keep on utilizing your support because soon, you’ll find yourself being a support to someone else too. 


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