4 years in Montana’s Foster Care System

Jazmyn Saunders is an 18-year-old from Montana. Most of her life, Jazmyn was in and out of the system. The first time she was removed, she resided in Kansas, and was taken away at the young age of around 3. After being placed home, Jazmyn bounced around in Oregon from her mom’s to her dad’s and then to a foster placement after her parents were divorced. Around the age of 12, Jazmyn’s family moved to Montana, hoping to start over. They moved to a bare plot, and built a house out of nothing. The house lacked cleanliness because there was no power, sewer, or water. In 2014, Jazmyn was removed from her home due to severe neglect and abuse. After spending some time in a group home, she was moved from Montana to Oregon to live with her grandfather.

Jazmyn graduated from Big Sky High School. She received many awards during her senior year due to her resilience and motivation to graduate with her class. Jazmyn graduated high school with a 3.5 GPA, and was accepted to the University of Montana. She plans on double majoring in Politics and Business with a minor in Social Work. With this, Jazmyn hopes to become a U.S. Senator to implement changes in the foster care system. She holds a special place in her heart for her brothers and sisters still in care, and represents them on the Montana Chaffee Youth Advisory Board. Jazmyn enjoys taking time out in the wilderness to regroup. When Jazmyn is not busy advocating, she enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking, rocking climbing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

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