Chelsea spent over 2 years in Florida's foster care system
Chelsea entered foster care at age 15 with her sister. They remained connected and both aged out at 18. She has participated in an Independent Living Program and now lives successfully on her own. Chelsea is currently a senior in high school with plans to attend college and pursue a career that allows her to help others.
She is a member of youth leadership boards and advisory councils. With the Florida Youth Shine Circuit, Chelsea speaks to youth that are still in care about advocacy and children’s issues. She has organized trips and events for youth in care, written essays and testimonials for the state legislature, and also stays active with volunteer work in the community.
Chelsea has made helping others a habit. When asked why it is important for young people in foster care to have a opportunity to improve the foster care system….Chelsea was clear on her beliefs, “We can relate at a different level then those who have not experienced our difficulties as foster children. The youth in foster care have the opportunity to speak out about the difficulties they have faced. It is extremely important for the legislature to know the faults in the foster care system so that they may be able to improve it, but they will not be able to know where improvements are needed unless the foster youth speak out. It is inevitable that there will always be a need for foster care and the only way to ensure that youth are given the opportunity to grow and succeed, is to continually impove the system of care.” Chelsea clearly understands how important it is for her voice to be heard.