Marion Simmons spent 19 years in New Jersey's foster care system.
Marion spent 19 years in New Jersey’s foster care system. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work at West Chester University while maintaining a full-time position at New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families. Marion has been actively involved in Youth Thrive, a national initiative of the Center for the Study of Social Policy, that aims to improve outcomes for youth in the child welfare system. She uses her personal experience, including challenges and triumphs, along with her national perspective on issues she cares about, to advocate for youth in foster care.
Marion has presented at a number of conferences with the National Resource Center for Youth Development and National Independence Living Association. As her colleague described, she is “committed to making child welfare services work for children and youth both through her current work and ongoing volunteer activities and involvement with efforts to improve practice and policies that impact policies. Marion is a powerful leader as she is always looking to support and nurture other young people and is comfortable working with other professionals to ensure that youth voices are heard and respected.”