Giovan takes his experiences from living in the foster care system and uses them to shape his current work in child welfare by representing the voices of other youth in his state. Giovan has learned about the policies that influenced his upbringing and now he shapes them and informs youth of their impact. He serves as a legislative youth advocate and mentor through Georgia EmpowerMEnt.
Giovan says, “(Being in the system) has given me the necessary skills to help mentor youth by providing me with the understanding of the colossal impact the system has in all spectrums of youth’s lives….There is no substitute for the practical experiences of the youth whose lives are directly dictated by the system.” Giovan has been through a lot, but has found forgiveness and closure regarding his experiences.
He wants to help others find it, too. Through my internship with the National Resource Center for Youth Development, I learned how tedious and in-depth work surrounding child welfare policies can be, and I give Giovan huge praise for his willingness to work to improve foster care through policy improvement. I’m sure his voice in the legislative process has meant easier transitions and better planning for many youth in Georgia.