Janell Braxton spent 3 years in Washington's Foster Care System.

Janell is a young woman who embodies all it means to be a driven individual. She has spent most of her teenage life in the foster care system and experiencing multiple placements and sibling separation. All the while, Janell has continued to thrive in school and maintain clear future aspirations, which include working with young people in the area of education. Janell is involved in a number of leadership and volunteer activities, such as Washington’s State Youth Advisory Board, Passion to Action and also the Mockingbird Society, which is a state youth advocacy group. When talking about her contributions to the organizations, one of her peers mentioned Janell as a source of calm positivity and good ideas about improving child welfare. Janell does a number of volunteer activities and is always willing to go the extra mile to help others. For example, in her work as a volunteer at a retirement community, she made a connection with a resident who now frequently returns to help and talk with. Despite all her accomplishments, Janell is still in only high school, where she is the President of the sign language club and also student leads the orchestra. Even her community’s mayor has taken notice of her successes and is considered for Mayor’s Youth Achievement Award. Janell is a young woman who shines most when she is making a difference in someone else’s life, no matter how large or small.

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