Ja'nai Spain spent 14 years in California's Foster Care System

While Ja’nai Spain suffered the separation from siblings and a constant change of placements while in foster care, through it all she maintained a positive attitude about her experiences. She believes the constant change she endured has made her easily adaptable to new people and environments. Being in foster care has also increased her compassion. With many moves, came the constant changing of schools. Ja’nai often found herself defending schoolmates who were bullied and could not defend themselves. She discovered her passion to ‘protect the underdog.’ Her dream is to eventually join the Civil Rights Unit of the FBI. “I can’t really tell you how, but I managed to look ahead, form a goal, plan, and vision for my life,” says Ja’nai. “I realized the only way to be successful in accomplishment is to keep my eyes focused on what I want and now allow anything negative, or positive for that matter, distract and deter me from a great future.” In high school, Ja’nai was involved in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) all four years. Her participation in ROTC was the best decision she ever made because it helped her develop leadership skills and grow in integrity. As Class Commander of her JROTC class, she taught leadership skills and Marine Corps history. In addition, Ja’nai was a member of the Black Student Union and was elected President her senior year. As President, she led meetings and organized activities that promoted unity of colored students. Ja’nai has also participated in numerous community activities and charity fundraisers. Faith plays a very important part in Ja’nai’s life. She currently attends William Jessup University where she is working toward a bachelor’s degree. She attends a Christian University because she wants to be surrounded by godly people who will help her grow in her relationship with Jesus Christ. She has a heart for helping others, especially those who are oppressed. She enjoys volunteering in various ministries such as the Helping Hands ministry which makes food and distributes clothes to the homeless. She also enjoys being a youth leader in the high school youth group at her church.

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2011 Outstanding Young Leaders