7 years in Pennsylvania's Foster Care System

Ramond Nelson was born in Pittsburgh, PA to a single mother of three. Unfortunately, at the tender age of five, Ramond’s parents’ split which caused a strain on his relationships with others. Ramond remembers the hardships he had to endure In his early childhood including but not limited to his aunt and her three kids relocation to help take care of his mother, who suffered from mental illness. During his transition into high school, Ramond was expected to take on the role of being “the man of the house” due to his aunt’s departure, mother’s mental illness and brother’s relocation. When his mother’s health deteriorated, she was confined into a mental institution leaving Ramond and his youngest brother forced to enter the foster care system. Fortunately, a family friend who was willing to accept both Ramond and his brother into his home eventually became his foster care parent. Although Ramond was poverty-stricken African American and his foster parent was a middle-class Caucasian, he welcomed Ramond with open arms and took on the responsibility of raising Ramond and his younger brother. Ramond, who is now 22, is interested in getting his degree in business or public policy; he keeps himself engaged with his school clubs, raising awareness of mental illness, changing laws within the system and participating in yearly internships. Ramond’s life of adversity has molded him into the person he is today and motivated him to ensure a better future.

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