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Matthew Hoel spent 3 years in Minnesota's Foster Care System.

I had the chance to meet Matthew three years ago at the 2009 TLT Conference in Minnesota, and over that time Matthew has continued to grow into a great young advocate. Matthew is on academic honor roll, and upon graduating from High School plans to get Bachelor’s in Political Science or Communications. He received one of Northwood Children’s Services highest honors, The Outstanding Progress Award, due to his hard work towards achieving independence. Of his desire to inspire other youth in foster care, Matthew says, “I want to let others know they aren’t alone when they face problems. I want to speak to them about going into the foster care system with nothing and coming out of it with success and determination that I never had before.” Others have noticed Matthew’s determination, too. One adult supporter states, “In my 16 years of work youth, Matt is one of the my most favorite students but also one that has really come a long way in life. “ I can’t wait to see Matthew again three years from now — as I am sure he’ll again impress with his great progress and continued dedication to making a difference.

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