Emily Crocker spent 21 years in Maine's foster care system Emily Crocker is a shining example of personal resilience and turning difficult experiences into dedicated leadership and care for others. Having lived within the foster care system for 21 years, with over 12 placements that took her to multiple states. Currently, Emily is paying off student loans so that she can return to school to pursue a degree in mental health and social work. During her time within the foster care system, Emily experienced 3 failed adoptions, forcing her to develop deep internal strength and self-confidence to deal with repeated disappointment and uncertainty. Emily has used the hardships and struggles she has endured in her life to fuel a desire and passion to help other children who face the same challenges she has within the foster care system. Emily recognizes that her life in the foster care system has given her a particularly powerful and expert voice in the cause of foster care improvement for the children and young adults within the system. She understands first hand that foster youth sometimes feel very alone in the world, but through her own leadership journey has also found that involvement in foster care reform connects her with others who share some of her experiences. Because of her special understanding and insights, Emily has sought organizations and platforms where she can bring her voice forward to advocate for improvements in the foster care system. To this end, Emily has been an active member of Youth Leadership Advisory Team for the past 10 years. Emily has also attended 9 state wide foster teen conferences and has functioned in a leadership role over the last 4 years. Additionally, Emily is a proud member of the youth organization Moving Forward Policy Group, whose mission in partnership with agency workers, is to create baseline policy for all foster care agencies in the state of Maine. Emily also serves as a member within the Maine Youth Transitions Collaborative. Emily’s hard work and dedication to the cause of young people in the foster care system continues to bring about positive impact and change to the lives of many people!