From infancy to fifteen, I lived with my grandmother. From the age of fifteen on, I resided in different foster homes until I eventually emancipated out of the foster care system. How and why I wasn’t with my mother and why I spent my final years of youth in a foster home is a story for another day. If I ever share it, the mention of having to reside in a foster home alone should suggest there’s some interesting family drama behind it all.

The statistic when I was first placed was that less than ten percent of all foster youth in America get their high school diplomas or GED’s. I have heard it has gone down since. I not only obtained my diploma, but got it in three years instead of four, English being my best subject and one of the biggest things that has helped me survive.

My career goal is to work for a Master’s degree in English after obtaining my Associates in Creative Writing. After starting my work study job in the community college I am currently working towards my associates in, I noticed how much my fellow students struggle with the general study of English, especially reading and writing. After speaking with several professors in the English department, I have decided to become an English professor and teach classes below college level to get students caught up to where they need to be to complete their own education goals.

Even though it has been years since I had been in a foster home and my emancipation occurred somewhat recently, it still plays a huge part in how my life is today and who I am. I cannot change the past, but my perspective of it has matured over time, as it still is and always will, showing me better and better ways to deal with what I have endured. The better I get at writing, the more I am able to cope with it, putting my voice on paper in hopes it will eventually find its way into another foster youth’s life and motivate them to keep trying. It finds a way into a lot of what I write. Look for it and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.


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