Sacred Huff / Do not allow your circumstances to destroy you
My most challenging experience in foster care was being placed in a residential facility. It only further traumatized me and left me feeling as if I was unlovable. I believe that even when a child is labeled to have “behavioral problems,” they still deserve a nurturing environment. Yet, residential facilities operate more like prisons, so they are not therapeutic at all.
My most defining moment was when I finally left the facility and eventually aged-out of the system. This was a defining moment because I knew that my former social workers and the staff members at those facilities expected me to fail. This made me determined to prove them all wrong. Now, I am graduating from law school.
Do not allow your circumstances to destroy you. If you survived a traumatic childhood, then you have more strength than you may realize. Take your anger and hurt and channel those feelings into a passion to change the world.
Foster care taught me to be resilient. It also taught me to make the best of my circumstances even when those circumstances seem to have no positive aspects.
The thing I needed most when leaving care was financial resources. Foster youth who age-out of care tend to have the worst outcomes (e.g. low educational obtainment, high rates of incarceration, and high rates of homelessness). Yet, most of these problems may be alleviated, if governments invested more financial resources into those who are aging-out or have already aged-out.