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Ross Brown spent 5 years in New Jersey's Foster Care System.

Ross Brown is a New Jersey Outstanding Young Leader. He has earned this award through surviving some startling situations and fighting for a better and more honest life. Ross could have been a statistic, but knew he wanted something different. Ross could have been incarcerated like his father and sibling, but he knew he didn’t have to be. Ross could have quit school, but he knew he could strive for better. Throughout his life, Ross has seen how the decisions that one makes can have consequences that last forever. So, Ross’ decision was in favor of himself and his own advocacy. He became well versed in law and his own case. Spurred on by a tragic loss in his family, Ross fought to be independent at age 16 and attend college. He was done with the myriad of foster care placements, none of which felt permanent. So he went to college. Ross was able to focus on his studies and became more and more interested in becoming a lawyer or politician. But there were unforeseen consequences of going to college early. He was left to fend for himself during the summer and the holidays. This left Ross feeling more alone than ever. “These times are damaging to my focus because not only must I perform my schoolwork but also I must plan ahead for being homeless.” Ross will attend Seton Hall University School of Law. He believes, “By becoming an attorney I will be in a position to facilitate justice, reformation, and reverse the cycle of being disadvantaged. My triumphs have equipped me with the knowledge necessary to succeed. My determination, resilience, and courage will serve me well in the legal profession and as a role model for others who are facing similar obstacles.”