Shawna Petrie is a 20-year-old student at the University of Wisconsin. She has declared a major in History Education, and her goal is to graduate in 2014. She lives independently in the dormitory there. Shawna entered the foster system at the age of 15, in 2007, along with her twin sister. She was in two foster homes for a total of 3 years. After this, she lived with her biological grandfather until beginning college.
The biggest challenge she had to overcome in entering foster care was not being able to accept that anyone could love her or want to take care of her. This changed after the first year, as she started to realize someone truly does care, and love her, and could provide her with direction and encouragement. Shawna has over 400 hours of volunteer service.
She particularly likes to help children, and has done this with her elementary school, while in High School, by helping children with their studies. She was also part of a program through the local library helping children learn to read. Shawna hopes to eventually give back to the foster system by becoming a mentor for younger children living with foster families by using her own experiences from childhood.