Brittney Barros, after living with neglect, entered her first time in care at the age of 11. After struggling for a long time, her mom finally regained custody of Brittney and her siblings. Watching her mom beat drug addiction and getting a stable home gave Brittney hope for her family. However, a year later her brother crashed the car into the house and became homeless. After living in dirty motels, outside, and couch surfing for seven months, she re-entered the foster care system where she lived in different foster homes and a group home. Finally, when Brittney was 16, her grandmother got legal guardianship and her mother's rights were terminated. She still struggles with being separated from her siblings, however, Brittney dreams of being reunited one day.
Currently, Brittney passionately advocates in both the foster care and runaway/homeless youth community. Back at home, she works for Ozone House, a nonprofit organization for at risk and homeless youth as a Peer Outreach Worker. She is also an independent contractor through Speak Out- a group that works to end homelessness in Washtenaw County. Brittney spends her free time being a foster youth voice through her group (Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative) and as a State Co-Director for the Parkwest Foundation, spreading awareness of resources available to those who have been in foster care. Taking her love for playing the clarinet, sax, and piano along with making a change within the social system, Brittney will be pursuing a degree in both music therapy and social work at Eastern Michigan University. Her long term goals include running her own nonprofit organization and becoming both a foster care worker and parent.