As a former foster youth,
I find myself
beating the odds every day,
are big or small. I grew up hearing
"you can't" and "you'll never".
When I would speak
of my future plans, I was confronted
with "you need to be
more realistic" and that I would
never have the same opportunities
as "other kids".
I was the only one of my siblings
who made it out of my family
unscathed by drugs and prison.
I earned my high school diploma
In fact, I was so determined
to finish at my original high school
that, although I was placed
in a group home 20 miles away,
I rode my bicycle to the train
station and caught multiple
buses to get to school on time.
I believe school was
the only thing
I could hold onto during
that difficult time in my life.
School has been the only thing that
has made me turn out differently
from my brother and sister.
I've also been able to earn
my Associates Degree
Some of my other achievements
include: successfully completing an
that resulted in a full-time job,
illustrating a children's book,
accepted to Mills College...
My dream is to earn a BA degree
in Film, Television and Media.
I hope to inspire
others the way I have been
inspired by film.
* This young lady, a former student
in JP's Foster Forward Summer Series,
was one of three transition-age
foster youth from
San Mateo County
who won the "Beating the Odds"
in October, using this essay.
We hope she'll eventually
produce a movie about her life.