Stephanie Otis spent 4 years in Michigan's foster care system.
While it would be easy to grow bitter after a lifetime of disappointments and rejections, Stephanie remains remarkable for her ability to turn hardship into compassion for others. After many years in the foster care system, several unsuccessful placements, and a bumpy transition to adulthood, Stephanie sought to use her story to change the outcomes of others. One of her greatest challenges since becoming independent was simply to face the many fears that her experiences in foster care had instilled in her. Stephanie says that it was a major turning point for her when she was finally able to trust the support of her mentors and peers and grow to be the confident person she is today. As the president of her local MYOI organization, she has learned to lead others in community involvement as well as self-improvement. Whether it’s sharing her story on a panel or educating foster parents on the importance of PRIDE training, Stephanie continues to inspire changes in the foster care system.