Angela Cruze spent 5 years in Washington's foster care system.
At the age of 9, Angela and her siblings were placed in care due to parental substance abuse during which time she experienced 3 foster homes and 4 respite homes. When Angela was 13 they were adopted; Angela experienced struggles in this, battling her own demons of pushing others away. She encountered many challenges in her education, but persevered - receiving "The Thunderstruck" award for overcoming obstacles and succeeding in her education. She credits a wilderness camp opportunity with providing her the space to find her passion and grow as an individual and recognizes "Transitions" for teaching her life skills for job opportunities. From that moment forward, she has wanted to become a public figure to mentor youth.
Angela completed a year of service with Washington Service Corps AmeriCorps for WorkSuorce, Employment Security Department. She serves on the Workforce Southwest Washington Committee for youth programs where she elevates the needs of youth who are economically disadvantaged to program partners who assist the youth population. One of her primary goals in that position is to facilitate improved communication between agencies for serving youth populations. She volunteers as a mentor for youth in systems through Family Youth Systems Partner Round Table (FYSPRT) and through her position as the Youth Coordinator for Cowlitz Visionary Youth. Angela currently competes in pageantry to promote her platform of Youth Voice in Systems, and also works as a State Certified Peer Counselor. Her dream is to become a public figure and continue competing in pageantry to inspire system change and hope for youth, not just in Washington state, but across the nation.
Angela says: "What you put into your life is what you will get out of life."