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"Anything is possible no matter what you've been through."

Anyssa Avalos shares #HerStory:

"I entered the system due to my consequences. When I was younger I experienced something traumatic, leading to a bad relationship with my mother. Out of anger I sough refuge in alcohol. From the age of 15 through 17, I was an alcoholic, which led to not so wise actions such as ditching school everyday. I would go days without going home, disrespected my parents, indulging in drugs, and it was not too long that I found myself in and out of juvenile hall. At times I was kicked out of my house, so I stole things to get by. My last case I was caught stealing and found out in Juvenile hall I was pregnant. I wanted to cry because I was unhappy and my life was a big mess, thinking "here I am with a child inside of me." After that, I knew I had to change my life around and I did. I was several months sober, home everyday, got straight A's in school, and had a good relationship with my parents and boyfriend. I was finally feeling happy and know I was doing good, but after several months being on trial I was sentenced to a group home. I didn't feel like I deserved to be there since I was doing better and was angry that I didn't have a choice anymore. After a couple of months I focused on my future for my daughter and finished school and began to prep myself for college. Being in the group home, I took advantage of all the resources it had which really helped me for college and transitioning out the system.

What I needed most when I was emancipating from the system was the knowledge and skill needed for budgeting living expenses. Organizing bills, necessities, and luxuries would have benefited greatly and lowered debt consumption.

Being in the foster care system has taught me to keep moving forward no matter what. It taught me to be more independent and that there are people who truly care about me.

Don't ever give up and always believe in yourself. No matter what you are going through, just do your best. Things may not be going good at the time, but they will get better in time if you believe so. Don't let anybody put you down."

Foster Nation