JAQUELINE LEONARD / YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE YOUR FUTURE
"I always tell everyone that I come across with that if there was an opportunity to change my past of being in care, losing my siblings to adoption and every other trial I faced I wouldn't change it because it has made me the person I am today."
Jaqueline Leonard shares #HerStory:
"Being a young child entering care at age 5 was a very defining moment for me. I was placed with people that I had no connection with and be separated from my four younger siblings and parents. I was devastated and angry at the world which lead me to be a very angry and depressed five-year-old. At age 10 I realized that what happened to me at such a young age doesn't define who I am and what my future holds so I became happier and strived to do better in school. Sadly at age 12, my younger siblings were placed in adoption with no contact until they were all age 18. I didn't say goodbye and wasn't able to give them a last hug. Depression and anger got the best of me again.
Although I went through some hard times in the system, it made me who I am today. It made me appreciate my family, my successes and my passion to give back. I am a humble person seeking to make a difference every day in my life to help others and foster youth when I become a CSW in 2 years.
I believe foster youth need to learn to be more self-sufficient as in driving a vehicle, grocery shopping, budgeting and time management. I also believe having a mentor after emancipation and a support system is needed and quite beneficial to have someone check in on you.
Always remember that your past doesn't define your future. Your parent's mistakes don't define you or your worth. YOU have the power to change your future and story."