As a youth in foster care in the state of Nebraska, Oscar faced aging-out of the system at age 19 after ten years in care. It meant that his state would no longer provide support, that his safety net no longer existed.
Before he left care, he had hopes to be adopted or guardianshipped so he could have some support, but his state denied him the chance, so he was completely on his own. Oscar has two siblings who were always placed with him in care. He feels it is very important to keep brothers and/or sisters together if possible.
The three entered into foster care twice – the second time was his last. His experience aging out with no support is extra important because it affects his siblings – and all youth in care in Nebraska. When he heard about the mission of Project Everlast, he knew it was for him. Project Everlast is Nebraska’s intensive youth-driven effort to promote stability for youth aging-out.
Oscar has been a participating and primary member for Project Everlast since its conception in 2008. He heads committees to work on legislation reviews, he participates in public speaking opportunities as well as professional partnership trainings. He also participated in the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative Intern Program. Oscar has assumed a leadership positions.
He is very intelligent and well spoken – he graduated from high school at age 16 almost on top of his class. One of his goals is to raise people’s expectations of youth in foster care. He is talented and creative and hopes to make a difference in the world of foster care, and has already made a difference in the lives of many of his peers. At this time, Oscar attends college on academic scholarships and, living on his own, supports himself doing odd jobs.