Angelene entered the foster care system at the age of eight. At that time she was lucky enough to stay with her aunt, which unfortunately ended when she was fourteen. She then bounced around to foster homes and her schoolwork was negatively affected. Luckily she was able to make up the credits and graduate on time with her peers. Today Angelene has a wonderful rapport with her foster mom; she is able to live there until she decides to move out. Both are frequent guest speakers at foster parent training. Angelene has a desire to become an animal or plant scientist as well as an advocate for young people in foster care. She understands that youth have a voice and if you speak long and loud enough people are bound to hear and listen. She believes that as a youth who experienced the foster care system she is an expert and qualified to make the needed changes to the foster care system. Angelene volunteers her time to help youth still in the system by mentoring and tutoring them. Angelene continues to maintain a positive relationship with her foster mother but she had many difficulties she faced while in care. The hardest challenge was trying to stay focused and overcoming the obstacles directly in front of her. Angelene now understands you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. “Never give up and never say I can’t because ‘I can’t’ is NOT an option.”

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