Patricia "Patty" McChesney spent 7 years in Nevada's foster care system.
Patricia McChesney, age 20 of Nevada, wishes to work with disabled youth using music therapy, but first she is focusing all her attention on school. She performed in the top 3% in the nation on her PSAT and ACT, graduated high school with honors. She lettered and barred in academics, music and varsity track. She is certified as gifted and talented. While still in high school, she co-wrote a grant and multimedia presentation that earned her $1000 and a chance to improve energy efficiency.
Patricia is involved in many volunteer projects, some of which include tutoring adults at a GED testing site, many of which were refugees from Haiti, being a member of Knights and Ladies, a community service club, to volunteer at places like food banks. She also volunteered her time for a year and a half at Note-Ables, teaching music, dance and voice lessons to students. She is also part of an organization called Madison House which helps to arrange carpools and safe volunteering sites. She recently volunteered for a 24-hour event sponsored by the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project, which helped connect 59 homeless and transient young people under the age of 25 with a good meal, hygiene items, blankets and a place to sleep; many of the people she helped were formerly in foster care before becoming homeless and simply did not have the support, guidance and motivators they needed to make a difference for themselves.
Patricia spent seven years in foster care and was, herself, asked to move out at the age of sixteen from the home of the last family she was placed with. They had regarded her as their own daughter until that which would, under normal circumstances, be considered as natural adolescent-versus-parent conflicts, had devastating consequences for her. This experience alone could easily have pushed her into being one of those 59 youth that she was able to aid. This left her feeling expendable and she aspires to show others that they are unique, valuable members of society who have much to offer themselves and others.