Jasmine Almaraz spent 2 years in Rhode Island's foster care system

Jasmine is a young lady with great potential and she is certain (as has been proven true the last few years) that she has the ability to change the path that life presented. She made a good decision. A good decision that changed the path... and that was to join the Rhode Island Youth Leadership Board, The Voice. The Voice is a motivated group of teenagers and young adults working together for positive change in the foster care system in Rhode Island. This single good decision — to join the group—has brought many more opportunities to Jasmine, including:

• Speaking at the Rhode Island State House
• Youth Leader on the New England Youth Coalition
• NCAM Ambassador through the Festival of Children Foundation and Youth Service America
• Collected Prom Dresses for youth-in-care and put together Foster Fashion Prom-a-Palooza
• Arraigned the 4th Annual Feastivities for Normalcy BBQ
• Presented twice at the 2013 Pathways Conference in Baltimore, MD

Jasmine is grateful that the foster care system she entered into helped to stop the instability she had with her biological mother. She had more than 15 homes and 10 different schools prior to her kinship placement with her Grandmother. To her, “It is important that youth advocate for youth in the foster care system, because most of the time the youth do not know how to advocate for themselves. After entering the child welfare system most of our voices are overlooked, it is important to find your voice and utilize it for those who have not found a way to voice their opinions. I truly believe that the only way to improve the child welfare system is through the population it effects the most, the youth.”

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2013 Outstanding Young Leaders