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Helping foster care youth see past their current situation and preparing them for the incredible opportunities beyond is why Johnnice wants to become a youth advocate, and work for the Cook County Public Guardian. Her experience in the Illinois foster care system has not been great, but she believes she’s a stronger woman for it: “These negative things have motivated me to grow, become educated, independent and teach other youth how to do the same.” Johnnice is a member of the Youth Advisory Board for the Cook region and of the Youth Summit Committee. Giving back to organizations that have done so much to support her is part of her mission in life. Awarded one of only 48 DCFS scholarships in the state of Illinois, Johnnice is an extremely motivated young woman who strongly believes that “Youth in care need support from their peers because it gets hard for youth in care to succeed without support systems in place. We need young people to support other young people.” Having been placed in various homes and situations since she was 14 years old, Johnnice wants to change the system to benefit youths in foster care. Her educational goal is to graduate from the University of Illinois-Chicago (where she is currently enrolled) with a GPA of at least 3.5, and then attend law school to better affect the legal structure surrounding foster care in her state.

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