Seeking stories for art project


Thank you for your post. I am new to the community and would be happy to share my story for this piece. As a young person who grew up in the foster care system I never imagined going to college but I did. There are only about 3 to 5 percent of foster youth who graduate with a degree by the age of 26. I was 26 when I graduated from undergrad finding out that I was in $76,000 worth of debt. Long story short I have a masters degree and I am now in over $100,000 worth of debt. I had no idea this is what life would be like. Most of us have been told all of our lives to go to college so we could graduate and change the world. In Nov 2017 I lost my little sister to suicide and have been slowly picking up the pieces of her loss. Despite that I’ve head a steady job but lost it this past summer due to the lack of funding for the position. I fought with unemployment and SNAP for several months just to survive. I’ve worked since I was 14 years old, survived the foster care system, worked on Capitol hill and The White House advocating for stronger policies to ensure young people thrive beyond the foster care system. Yet, many of us are still ignored and I am still in debt. I was removed from my home where my siblings and I were then separated from each other and placed into care. And then once you turn 18, you were forced to go. This isn’t just my story. This is the story of the 26,000 young people who age out of care every year. The government has a responsibility to children when they are removed from their homes. The government becomes your parent. But just like thousands of children are being removed because of abuse and neglect is exactly what the system perpetuates when young people are left to fend for themselves in a world they did not ask to exist. We must do better by our young people and for those who’ve grown up parentless whether that was physical, emotional, etc, I just want you to know that I see you.

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