Conleysha Gaston spent 10 years in California's foster care system

Conleysha Gaston is a no-nonsense kind of girl. She's found her calling and, for now, her subject. What she does in her corner of California is talk about sex to many and varied groups around the state. She speaks up to organizations, participates on panels, councils both individual youths and adults.

She speaks about the need for sexual education in foster care. She advocates not only for adults and youth to have "the conversation" about sex, but also speaks a lot about the need for homosexual-friendly foster homes. She isn't afraid to tell others why having the sex talk can be an awkward and challenging discussion, especially if a youth is gay in foster care. Through understanding and genuine concern, she helps equip people to have these conversations about sex and sexuality.

She has spoken to a group in Oakland, California as part of a web series, and participated in a training for CASA workers on how to talk to their youth about sex. She has worked at San Francisco ILSP doing case management.

She speaks from her heart and often uses her personal experience in foster care to talk with others about the needs of foster youth. She been known to gladly stay on the phone for hours working with a youth and his probation officer, arranging plans to attend a hearing in court to support the youth. She goes the extra mile.

Conleysha is currently in college, with career plans in broadcast journalism.

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2013 Outstanding Young Leaders