23 Years Old
Kansas Foster Care System
Kristen spent most of her childhood and adult life in Wichita, KS. She is currently a student at Wichita State University, and is working to obtain her bachelor’s degree with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. Kristen entered foster care at the age of 13, aged out of the system after she turned 18.
Kristen’s personal experiences, as well as the young people and young leaders who she got to meet, is what inspires her to do this work. She always tries to lean into her own life experiences when she thinks about pushing for change and being thoughtful about what solutions can look like. Kristen wishes that professionals and foster families who work with youth in systems of care would take the time to invest in the young people who they come in contact with and begin to build relationships with their youth. Her dream is to be an attorney and focus her career on juvenile justice, foster care, and human trafficking victim protection reform work.
Kristen would tell foster youth to be authentically who they are, and that self-discovery and healing is possible. A quote that inspires her is
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
― Angela Y. Davis