Patricia spent 6 years in Hawaii's foster care system. Patricia first entered care at ten years old; she was reunified with her mother and re-entered care after really unfortunate events at age 16. After difficult struggles including over 6 different placements in 2 years and being separated from her siblings, she aged out of foster care. Patricia obtained her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts in May of 2016. For the past 3 years, Patricia has participated in the Hawaii Helping Our People Envision Success (HI HOPES) Youth Leadership Board. She was nominated and accepted as the Hawaii representative at a Youth Leadership Institute Conference held by the Jim Casey Initiative, and is now a Young Fellow with the Jim Casey Initiative. Currently, she attends the University of Hawaii - West Oahu studying for her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences - Psychology. Patricia balances her studies and being a mom while working at Hale Opio, Inc. which is a company that works to better improve the lives of current and former foster youth as well as displaced youth in the community. Long term, Patricia would like to be a social worker. Quote: Giving back is important because as long my bills are paid, my family is taken care of, and I have the time; giving back is the least I can do to show someone else the kindness that is needed in the world.