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Jennifer Lance spent 9 years in South Carolina's Foster Care System.

Meet Jennifer Lance. Jennifer is a student at South Carolina State University maintaining a 3.0 GPA. After graduation, she hopes to become a certified Speech-Language Pathologist in the public school systems. Throughout High School she received awards for having perfect attendance and was recognized as a Merit Roll student, National Honor Student, and the Student of the Week. When she isn’t so busy with academics, Jennifer enjoys playing basketball, tennis and mingling with friends. She also has a great passion for math and writing poems. Jennifer has already started making an impact on others by volunteering in her community. As the floor coordinator for The Helping Hands of Myrtle Beach, she assists many individuals and families who have very little by handing out clothes, shoes and other necessities. She also volunteers as a junior counselor at the Myrtle Beach Recreation Center, where she works with children primarily from ages 5-12. “The time that I spent helping others has allowed me the opportunity to grow and mature more than I ever dreamed,” Jennifer says. Jennifer knows how important it is for foster youth to speak out and involve themselves in advocating for change. She comments, “Foster care has such a negative stigma in today’s society, but it’s up to us, the foster youth, to turn that negative into a positive.” Jennifer was in three foster homes between the ages of 2 and 7, and then she went back in care from age 15 to 19. Now she is enrolled in an independent living program and mastering many of the skills she needs to live on her own, such as managing money, making her own doctor’s appointments, shopping for groceries, etc. Although her journey through foster care was a bit of a rollercoaster, Jennifer acknowledges the positive impact her experiences had. “Foster care taught me responsibility and how to be independent. Foster care made me have faith, faith that even though it is very gloomy, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. My light is me being enrolled in college and making someone of myself,” says Jennifer. Now she wants to use her past experiences as a tool to better other foster youth. Her mentor comments, “Jennifer is a star. Not in that all-perfect, wide toothed grin kind of way, but in a very genuine, hard-working continued determination kind of way. Her aspirations and faith keep her afloat.” Jennifer has a motto she learned when she volunteered at the Special Olympics: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Between her academic accomplishments, volunteer work, and caring personality, Jennifer is well on her way to achieving all her goals — and more.