Graciela Alejandra Chavoya Charles, age 21, from California

Graciela experienced kinship/relative care since she was a little girl. Legally she never technically entered California’s Child Welfare system. Graciela experienced homelessness, family separation, and many other challenges. At the age of 16 years old she was able to create stability for herself, working 2 jobs, attending high school, and renting rooms from those willing to give her shelter. She was legally identified as an unaccompanied independent youth.

Currently, Graciela volunteers at San Bernardino Juvenile Hall as a workshop leader for a program called REACH. She also participates in a Guardian scholar program on her campus that supports former foster youth. In her spare time, Graciela loves to find ways to express her creativity. Taking time to visit art galleries, admire street art, or create her own art. She also enjoys reading and writing poetry. 

Graciela’s goal is to obtain a master's degree in sociology and a double major in intercultural communications. Her hopes are to one day work in a career geared towards social change and understanding the various situations that can affect minorities to help them excel and advocate for social change. Then starting her own non-profit that assists scholar students in overcoming adversity. 

“Where there is no struggle there is no real strength“ - Graciela Alejandra Chavoya Charles, a mentor, and voice for foster youth.

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2019 Outstanding Young Leaders