My journey to get where I am now was difficult as a former foster youth. I have faced many obstacles that, at the time, seemed impossible to overcome. In my final year of high school, I experienced a significant change in my living situation. I moved from living with a relative to living independently at 18. Being young and alone was daunting, even though my peers may have thought it meant freedom. It was the reality of being in foster care.
I started working at 15 and used my savings to get an apartment during what I thought would be a special time — college acceptance letters, senior activities, and graduation. Unfortunately, the sudden move distracted me from the things I was looking forward to, and I failed a class. Going to college was very important, and I was determined to meet all the graduation requirements and attend college. Realizing that I needed help and with no supportive adults, I took the initiative to reach out to my school’s counselor and advisor, Mrs. Bee and Ms. Gee, for guidance. After the meeting, we developed a plan with my teachers. Each staff member was supportive and understanding by extending due dates and staying after school so I could complete my work. During those months, I gained a support system.
Mrs. Bee and Ms. Gee never stopped checking in and encouraging me to continue despite the discouraging things I couldn’t control. As my graduation date drew near, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief and optimism about my future. The burden of stress that had been weighing on me for so long was finally starting to lift. I knew that I had made the right decision in seeking help when I needed it. With the guidance and unwavering support of Mrs. Bee, Ms. Gee, and my teachers, I could graduate on time.
Their belief in me gave me the motivation and confidence I needed to succeed. I will always be grateful for their kindness and understanding. The efforts they made continue to impact me today, motivating me to work hard. As someone who has experienced the challenges of foster care, I know how important it is for young people in similar situations to have access to this kind of extra support and encouragement. It can make all the difference.