10 years in California’s foster care system
22 years old
Michelle entered care at the age of five for one year and was then reunified with her mother. While in foster care Michelle experienced 6 different placements, which included a kinship/relative placement with her older sister, a group home, 3 foster homes, and an independent living placement. When Michelle was 12 years old she re-entered foster care until the age of 18 at which she was given the option to opt in extended foster care. Recently, she aged out of extended foster care at the age of 21.
During her undergraduate career, she realized the importance of embracing her foster care experience and owning her story. She spent time advocating for current and former foster youth throughout California by being a member of California Youth Connection, a member of the Oakland Unified School District Foster Youth Advisory Group, a Community Outreach Coordinator for Berkeley Hope Scholars, and a Policy Intern for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
Michelle recently graduated from the University of California Berkeley in May 2019 with a B.A. in Public Health and a minor in Public Policy. Michelle believes that education saved her life and wants to ensure foster youth have access to higher education.
Michelle is dedicated to working with communities to ensure they are provided with the resources to invest in their lives, futures, and education. Michelle aspires to become the person she needed while growing up in foster care.