Janay entered the foster care system as a young adult at the age of fifteen because of her mother’s long and devastating addiction to drugs. She and her sister were blessed enough to stay together when they were placed with their grandmother. Janay is very grateful for the opportunity to stay connected with her sister and be placed with her maternal grandmother. She knows she wouldn’t be as successful without the safety net of her family and the supportive adults that have helped her along in her journey through the foster care system.

After emancipation of the foster care, Janay worked for the employment development office and helped provide services to current and former foster youth. After that she worked for the Child Welfare Director’s Association and helped provide input to legislation for the 58 counties that serve foster youth in California. While she was working full time, she went to school full time and received her bachelors in social work while giving birth to a healthy baby boy in June 2006.

Since then Janay lives her life selflessly as she gives back to her community every chance she gets. She is currently attending California State University and will be graduating this month with her Masters in Social Work while balancing her advocacy efforts in DC to pass legislation. Her ultimate goal is to become the Director of Health and Human Services in California. Jen is said to be “compassionate without being soft, and firm without being too hard…one of the most well balanced people I have ever known.”  

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2009 Outstanding Young Leaders