Isaiah Palomo spent 2 years in Idaho’s DHS system.
During his time in care Isaiah experienced 5 placements. A residential home, a kinship care placement, and three foster homes. The system was hard for Isaiah to navigate as he was the eldest of five children whom were separated from each other. Isaiah experienced some placements with his siblings but the instability of not being with his siblings caused a lot of emotional pain. Isaiah also struggled identifying as an LGBT youth, dealing with self expression and internal beliefs of what it meant to be “gay”. What made it even harder for Isaiah was growing up in a conservative state with a strong religious influence as most of his placements were of faith based practiced households. Isaiah and his family were reunified but struggled together as there was very poor support from DHS in the reunification. Over time his family grew stronger together and continue healing from the past.
Isaiah at the age 14 started to become aware of the influence he had by sharing his voice and began to learn to advocate for himself in the system. Isaiah is thankful for the independent living program as it taught him life skills and shown him the value of his leadership skills. Isaiah, amongst others, help start the Idaho Foster Youth Advisory Board in 2012. Since his engagement with the board Isaiah helped create change to the Idaho foster care system and brought awareness to the challenges foster youth can encounter while being in the system.
Isaiah is a young adult who is determined to share his voice with the voices of others to make the much needed change to the foster care system. He advocates for sibling connections, family reunification, LGBTQ youth, reducing abuse within foster homes and positive permanency relationships.
Isaiah is a resilient, passionate, empathetic leader whose main goal in life is to strive to be his best self and encourage others to do the same.