Sade' Mitchell was placed in foster care when she was 15 years old and a freshman in high school. At a very sensitive time in her life, she changed homes five times and attended six different schools in both Oregon and Washington. Yet, in spite of the turmoil, Sade' found her way to several activities that helped pave her way to positions of leadership.
As a high school junior, she joined a program called Global Visionaries. Here she saw the need for community service and was given the opportunity to practice service, not just in the United States but elsewhere, as well. On one occasion, her group traveled to a Guatemalan coffee farm for three weeks and served as helping hands. Another group Sade' joined was The Service Board. Here she was able to perform service for her local community and, as an extra benefit, gave her a strong supportive group she could count on. Within this community, she was able to expand her interests, for instance, into participation in judging committees, producing music videos, and snowboarding.
Sade's awards include one from the Seattle Art Museum for participation in Art Goes To School, from The Service Board for 60 hours of service to the Seattle community, from Guatemala for service, from school as Spanish Student of the Month, from Oregon Foster Youth Connection for passionate advocacy.
Sade' feels that, in spite of being a good kid in foster care, she did not get the support she asked for. Staying out of trouble earned her no points. She feels the system failed her, that she had no one, but that she succeeded in spite of that. She says that her story is important because it shows other foster youth that they, too, can overcome hardships and succeed.