Dustin has been involved in the system most of his life. He entered care at 18 months and was in 5 placements until the age of 9. Dustin then ran away and ended up in a group home, where he again ran away, ending up in a lockdown mental institution for a year.
He was then placed again into group homes until he ran away for the last time at 17. Since that time Dustin has relied on the support of friends and has lived in three shelters. Despite the obstacles in his youth, Dustin graduated from high school and is now enrolled in college. His major is in human services with the goal to help those who are dealing with the same situations he was and is faced with. He is also working on two community projects; the first on homeless awareness, a resource guide to help the community.
The second is a digital story-telling project. Dustin says, “I know how it feels so I would rather give than take. “ Dustin is also a youth member for Thrive and sits on the board as a youth advocate. He is also currently writing his autobiography, a series of four books which range from dealing with foster care to his success story. Dustin writes poetry, with plans to publish his first poetry book. He also plans to start a poetry group at a youth shelter.