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David Forquer spent 5 years in Oregon's Foster Care System. David Forquer was abandoned as an infant. Over the last five years, he’s been in 13 placements, including foster care, therapeutic foster care, hands-on facilities, behavioral group homes, sub-acute care, the psychiatric ward at the local mental health hospital and now at an Independent Living Program group home. It isn’t the story of a young man who might just want to give back because of all the advantages he’s had, but that’s how David sees it. He’s involved with the Children’s Mental Health System Advisory Council, Youth Move, Multnomah Wraparound Family and Youth Advisory Council and Free Geek, a nonprofit providing technological assistance and computer education and programming to the community. And that list could just as easily be followed by another beginning with “David’s other volunteer roles include…” He says his “ups and downs” in foster care have helped him “come out as a better person.” When asked about any honors he’s received from his abundance of service, he says “The only honor I have ever received is the honor of being able to be involved in youth advocacy groups.” David’s time in the foster care system has seldom been stable and always been challenging. Instead of becoming cold and resentful about the difficulties life has presented him, David has taken that energy to advocate for the rights of others and put him in a position to inspire and challenge other kids to make the most of the opportunities they have. His impact towards fostering a system that incorporates young voices, community and positivity is an inspirational reminder of the life-affirming power of youth, optimism, and pure enthusiasm and energy.

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