"Mistakes can teach you to be resilient, strong, loving, caring, and so much more!"

Rachel Lin shares #HerStory:

"My worst experience was living in a foster home where the foster mother and the family made it very clear that my sister and I were essentially just tenants. They took kids in as a source of income. An example of this was when they would rather drive us to the library to use the internet instead of letting us use the internet at home. Or when they would beg their friends to babysit us while they went out of town. There were instances when they would even find excuses to keep the weekly allowance the government gave us to themselves. They were essentially stealing from us one of the only resources that we needed to survive the week.

Sadly the foster care system has only taught me that people in this world are selfish. By that I don't mean the good kind of selfish. People only care about themselves and the people that they love. This is understandable but for people who don't have people to care for them, it can be daunting and seem unfair. You can't help but want to keep to yourself because no matter how much someone tries to "care" for you, you know that at the end of the day, they have a family and their own people to care for. I am beyond lucky that I had a sister but not everyone going through the system has the same luck.

When I was emancipating from the system, I needed resources to help keep me on the right track. I needed support and a role model to look up to and talk to.

To other foster youth- Don't be afraid to make mistakes. From personal experiences, every time I made mistakes it broke me because of the lack of familial love growing up and the experiences that I was forced to go through in the foster care system that did more damage than good emotionally and physically. I have every excuse to never give anything a try due to fear of making a mistake or rejection but if you don't try and take a risk, you'll never know what you're capable of. You're stronger than most of the people your age just having survived the system. So don't let the idea of failure or fear of mistakes hold you back. Mistakes are usually seen as a bad thing but what I love and I have recently learned is that mistakes are powerful if you learn from it."

-Rachel Lin

Foster Nation