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LaBreka Williams spent 14 years in Louisiana's Foster Care System.

So what do you do when life deals you a hard hand and circumstances keep arising to push you back? Do you give up, lie down and announce defeat? Not if you’re LaBreka Williams. LaBreka was four when she entered the foster care system along with her three siblings. Despite being placed in over a dozen foster homes and other facilities, she managed to stay optimistic. Now she is a full-time college student enrolled in an independent living program. LaBreka has beaten the odds, faced every challenge head on, and is drawing on her experiences to change the lives of other youth in foster care. LaBreka is a student at Grambling State University pursuing a degree in social work. Her part-time job in her school’s foreign language department allows her to study while simultaneously earning income. She was also selected to receive a scholarship from the Orphan Foundation of America. In order to keep herself on track, LaBreka has set specific goals such as completing eighteen academic credits towards her degree every academic term and maintaining a 3.0 GPA. “I’ve learned that having a set frame of mind keeps me in the line of working and not quitting,” says LaBreka. After graduation, she hopes to pursue further education in social work and possibly enroll in a PhD program at the University of Texas. She would also like to travel. LaBreka’s experiences in foster care have helped her develop important character traits that will help her achieve her goals. “Foster care has shaped my personality tremendously, giving me a better outlook on life,” reflects LaBreka. “Being in foster care has beautifully sculpted, matured and brought out the best qualities in me. I work extremely well under pressure, and I have much patience, so most of the time I’m calm and I can tolerate just about any situation given to me. “ LaBreka is a busy advocate for foster youth. She is the secretary for her local youth board and participates in community work by volunteering at local day cares through her school’s organization, Teachers of Tomorrow. When she’s home from school, she stays with a foster family and lends her time to help with other children in the home by babysitting, taking them to the store, or playing with them at the park. She has been working with the Lafayette Chapter of Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children to organize new programs for young people leaving the Juvenile Justice System and/or the Foster Care System.

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