Ana Maria Sanchez-Castillo, 19, Michigan’s Child Welfare system.
At the age of two, Ana Maria entered foster care, due to the passing of her mother and father. She experienced 4 different placements, 3 of those placements were relative care. During her placements, there were efforts made to support her and gain legal guardianship, but there were constant challenges, within the placements, causing Ana Maria to move from home to home. Eventually, Ana Maria was able to find stability with an Aunt and Uncle and successfully graduated high school.
Ana Maria has always made community service a large part of her life. With the various food drives, fundraising, leadership roles, and in helping others has given her the hope and perseverance to move forward.
Ana Maria currently attends the University of Michigan where she is a very active member for two groups on campus. One is a Latinx organization called La Casa which stands for Latinx Alliance for Community Action and Social Advocacy. The second is Blavin Scholars UMichs fostered youth community. When Ana Maria isn’t studying, going to class, or working. She enjoys reading and writing. Writing is a big passion of hers - giving her the ability to regulate her emotions and communicate effectively.
Ana Maria intends to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. She is also considering law school and eventually having a Ph.D. She is passionate to address the needs of marginalized youth in urban areas through educational reform.