"Every young person in the system should know that they are valued and loved despite what they may be experiencing in the moment or experienced in the past."

Amnoni Myers shares #HerStory for our #SpeakUp Series:

"Growing up in the foster care system for most of my life was one of the most difficult things I had to endure because I had a hard time achieving stability within my foster home placements because I moved often. I had difficulty experiencing love from them because they seemed more interested in a pay check rather than loving and caring about my well being. After being in a home for 3 years I was told to remain signed into care so that I could stay with my foster mother but as soon as I turned 18, I was told that my foster mother was no longer being paid to take care of me therefore I needed to leave within the week. When I returned to pack my belongings, my things were already stuffed into trash bags waiting for me at the door. I left with my things in one hand and my loss of dignity in the other.

When I was being emancipated, I needed someone to tell me that it was going to be ok and that I was going to survive my circumstances despite aging out abruptly. Not only did I need someone to tell me those things, I also needed a team of people to introduce me to opportunities and resources to help me get there. I needed stable housing, quality relationships, and advocates who could help me navigate my educational journey post high school as well as be there to support me through life challenges. My transition into adulthood was rather abrupt and traumatic but thankfully through support systems and mentors I not only survived, but thrived!

One of the things that helped my survival was my ability to connect and network with people who were able to help me. Make sure you find your allies because those are the people who will always remain on your team. Even though you may not have had much choice over your situation, always know that your past does not have to determine or dictate your future and you are in this world for a purpose. -Continue to walk with your head held high :)

Overall, the foster care system taught me to be resilient in the midst of adversity. I was able to recognize my own strength in the struggle and I was able to identify ways for myself about how I was going to make it through. I looked for support outside of the system such as mentors, teachers, and my peers."

-Amnoni Myers

Read more about Amnoni here:

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