Jaquelyn Reyes Alonzo
3 years in Foster Care
23 years old
Jaquelyn Reyes Alonzo is working on a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Warner Pacific University. She plans to take the LSAT and enroll in law school after she graduates. In the future, as an attorney, Jaquelyn wants to focus her career on supporting immigrant foster youth, like she was herself. She currently serves as a Student Diversity Council Representative at her university, and participates in organizing events to ensure that students’ diverse backgrounds and cultures are represented.
As a Peer Navigator for the Oregon Pandemic Relief Funds project at FosterClub, Jaquelyn helped foster youth access direct funding to help them cover educational and living expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. Jaquelyn is a board member for the Youth Village program, which focuses on helping foster youth who need more support as they are aging out of the child welfare system. She has participated in numerous panels and fundraising events to advocate for foster youth, and to educate people about the needs of immigrant youth and their unique experiences in foster care. She has also been a volunteer with the HandShake program, which supplies necessities to families in need.
As an immigrant, Jaquelyn’s time in foster care meant learning a new language and a new culture while figuring out how to navigate the system. She spent about three years in foster care, and the experience taught her the importance of speaking up for herself and for others. While Jaquelyn does not believe that your past defines your future, she does know that her own past will help her to be a stronger advocate for other foster children, especially immigrants, and she strives to provide young people with the support and resources they need to succeed.