Katelynn Morris spent 4 years in Michigan's foster care system.
Katelynn Morris’s biography over the last few years—the amount of placements, the amount of schools, the separation from her siblings—and you might not think she had a lot of time for herself, much less for other people. But her resume of volunteer time suggests otherwise. Despite a life wracked by uncertainty and unpredictability, the constant in Katelynn’s life has been her dedication to serving the needs of others. She began volunteering during her freshman year of high school, the same year she was placed in foster care. That year she began here work with S.E.R.V.E., a program that allowed her to work with many different organizations and groups, including pre-school children, seniors in nursing homes, food drives for the less fortunate, and even work for the environment. She volunteered with a homeless shelter through one of her high schools and at a soup kitchen through her church with the children. As she puts in, “When things were rough at home, volunteering would get me out of the house—and I knew what it was like to need help. When things were going well, I volunteered because I always thought ‘why not spread the happiness that I have now?’” And at each of her schools, she has participated in student government and tutoring, as well as joining the marching band, Key Club, Earth club, teen court, and newspaper. But life has been hard: Over her high school years, Katelynn and her siblings were separated, first divided into nearby homes—and then into placements hours apart. Despite the hardships and the stress, she continues to give of herself and create a better world for the people around her.