"I was 15 when we were initially removed from my parents... I didn't really know what was exactly going to be happening to us, siblings and parents included. There were so many unknowns on the drive over to my foster 'home' — was I ever going to see all of my siblings again? We reunited after two weeks when we were placed at the same home.
After being placed in the system, I learned that family isn’t always blood. I have foster siblings who I’m closer with than my own biological family, and I consider some of my friends my brothers. They’ve been there to support me through some of the most difficult times of my life. God has placed some truly amazing people in my life — I know how much the people at my church care for me.
If you’re in the system now, focus on school. I’ve experienced how obtaining an education provides an exit to bad situations that no one can take away from you. There are so many financial grants and scholarships for kids who have experienced time in the system. I recently received my bachelors degree in public relations. You can too!
Finally, don’t let your circumstances define who you are. It's a common misconception that children in foster care are bad kids. Kids aren't usually in foster care for something they have done. We can’t change the fact that we ended up in foster care as a result of our original caregiver's failure... But you CAN change how people see you. Work on yourself and surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed. You have purpose! You are of value! You are worthy!"
-Richard Clark Gierman, recent BA in Public Relations from California Baptist University; currently serving as Media Arts Intern at VantagePoint Church and Administrative Assistant at Advanced Improvements