JANELLE DE ANDA / DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF

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"Sometimes it is up to you to reach out for help."

Janelle De Anda shares #HerStory:

"I truly consider myself as one of the "lucky ones" due to the obstacles I have been through from coming to a brand new country not speaking any english at the age of eleven in a house full of nightmares, to making the deans list in a university on the track to attend a law school. I am grateful for everything that has happened to me because without it, I would not be the strong independent woman I am today. It made me a stronger person everyday. With that said, the worst experience I have had in the foster care system was the night when the police officers came to my house and took me away from my abusive father. It was a cold April night and it was during the final week of school. It was the worst feeling I have ever experienced because for the first time in my life, I was hopeless. I did not know what the future had planned for me and I thought everything that I had worked for was going down the drain.

What I needed the most when I was in the system was someone to remind me that tomorrow was going to be better; that everything was going to be okay, and it wasn't the end.

The system taught me that people out there care. You may not know that, but people really do.

It will get better! I promise. Life may not seem fair right now but everything happens for a reason. What ever it is that you do, do not give up on yourself. Never. Think about how far you've came already, so why give up now? One day you will realize that it will all make sense."

Foster Nation