No matter where you go or what you do, your family carries your past. Lucy Castillo, age 22 of Kansas, incorporates her biological culture but is anxious to learn from others, too. With skill in two languages, English and Spanish, it’s not surprising that public speaking is one of Lucy’s interests. She practices skills as a member of the Kansas Youth Advisory Council and takes workshops as well as trainers’ workshops in public speaking. She speaks to other youth as a panelist at various conferences and as a host for meetings and summer youth conferences. As a member of the Kansas Youth Advisory Council since 2007, Lucy was the representative for two regions and was Historian for a year. She recently was awarded their Excellence Award for her commitment to KYAC. She is a part of review boards for a foster care bill of rights and one for a University of Kansas educational grant to find programs that raise high school graduation rates. She is treasurer for the Student Senate at Flinthills Technical College and is president of the Community Service Committee. Lucy’s first placement was at age 16 in a home almost 80 miles from her biological family. Her new foster parents were pastors in a religion unknown to Lucy. In culturally unfamiliar surroundings, she allowed herself to grow and profit from new ideas and concepts including lifestyle changes, religious and spiritual awakenings, and lifetime organizational skills. She has a lot of respect for her foster parents and what they do: welcoming very diverse youth into their home as foster youth. Lucy stayed in the system until she was 19, living in a communal independent living community. After her release, she returned to live with her bio-family, honoring her Hispanic culture traditions. Her goal is to graduate from community college with an Associates in Hospitality Management, specializing in regional cuisines, and one day running a small bar and grill business. “I love food. I love cooking for people, and how food brings us together."