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Nichele Murray spent 12 years in Oregon's Foster Care System

Eighteen year old Nichele Murray will be graduating high school this spring. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Concordia University and becoming a journalist. After spending twelve years in foster care, Nichele is ready to move forward with her life.

“I don’t want to be a statistic,” she says. “I want to break free from the name that society has placed upon me. I will do whatever is in my power to succeed, flourish and grow.” Nichele had to overcome numerous obstacles along her journey through foster care. Since starting the 1st grade, she has attended 13 different schools.

She transferred six times throughout high school alone. She writes; “I have to focus really hard and put in a lot of extra effort every time I move. Sometimes I come into a new school ahead of my class and sometimes far behind.”

Despite the setbacks, Nichele has maintained strong grades and kept her spirits high. Outside of academics, Nichele is very involved in her community. She has volunteered for a local soup kitchen (St. Mary’s), the Children’s Book Bank, Counsel of the Blink, and the Holiday Park Plaza.

Because of her involvement in her community and demonstrated leadership skills, Nichele received a certificate and $1,000 scholarship from Concordia University. No matter what her future may bring, Nichele is determined to succeed. “Being in foster care has made me strong, and for this I am thankful,” she says. “But foster care will not be the end of me. College holds a new chapter and I can’t wait for it to begin.”