Emily Stochel, 20, Washington’s Foster Care System

Emily’s time in foster care was not traditional by any means. She spent 9 months in two residential treatment centers out of state, one month at youth shelters, and one month in a foster care group home setting. At 16 she returned home to her biological father while remaining in the state’s care until 18.

After Emily returned home at 16, she wanted to learn more about the foster care system and support at-risk youth. She completed over 1,075 volunteer hours. Her first volunteer experience was in high school. She volunteered with Sound Mental Health (Bellevue, WA), where she organized and compiled a therapeutic book using Microsoft Publisher for an annual Publishing Event. She later became a peer advisor and provided support and resources for teenagers in the program. In college, she started volunteering at Amara (Seattle, WA), where she attended multiple trainings on trauma, de-escalation, foster care, and volunteered at Amara’s Emergency Sanctuary. At the emergency sanctuary, she cared for and supported youth during their very first hours and days in foster care. While volunteering for Amara, she worked 3 jobs and attended college full-time.

During college, she completed 3 internships. Her first one was at Masizame Children’s Shelter for abused, neglected, homeless, and/or abandoned youth in South Africa, her second at Secret Harbor as a Case Aide, and her third at Child Protective Services, where she assisted in CPS investigations, documentation, and compiling information for dependency hearings. In the summer of her junior year in college, she also started volunteering at Camp to Belong in Washington, which reunites youth in foster care with their siblings at a summer camp. She is also now CTB WA’s Social Media and Marketing Consultant.

Emily has graduated with her BA in Human Services and has begun her career job as an Independent Living Case Manager at Youthnet in Mount Vernon, WA. In her spare time, Emily enjoys writing, gymnastics, piano, singing, knitting, researching, reading, listening to podcasts, and watching television.