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So we have to do a personal evaluation at the end of the internship. It was pretty long and about having personal reflection. These are just 3 of the questions i had to answer. This Fosterclub internship has meant so much to me, words can not really begin to describe....but here some are....

12.How do you feel you influenced the youth at Teen conference? Give specifics if possible.

I know i enjoyed every interaction and they were all great. In Oregon i spent an hour talking to a girl about her family and feelings. They judged her because she had a girlfriend and put her down in general and she felt lowered by it and how they treated her. I listened to her mostly and let her know she should be confident in herself despite others opinions...i related with her so much because my aunt would put me down and i told her i felt the same way when my family treated my siblings different then it takes time, i recommended different types of communication that worked for me...It was the first major connection i had to a youth at a conference.
There were more like i noticed a girl crying in Minnesota. She felt guilty she had left her family for two days and she was aloud to eat and they couldn't....i could tell this was something she did not share a lot...i comforted her and let her know it is crazy to feel guilty and it is not her responsibility to be a mom to her mother....we talked and i had to tell her if she continued down that path she would never brake away... she had to be selfish and live her own life....talking to these youth and hearing the suffering they were going through was crazy...but it made me so hopeful that maybe something i said made a tiny difference...that's all i could hope for..........I feel that i connected with youth at every conference. i never felt like i was above them or anything i was doing was something they couldn't do. I just wanted to relate...they are not alone in their feelings and situation...that's all i wanted when i was in foster care.

14. How do you think you will apply your All-Star experience to your future
let me count the ways....

1.daily social interactions 2. patience 3.professional time vs. personal 4. body language 5. networking, networking, networking 6. the importance of daily conversations and smiling at people 7. first impressions 8. eye contact 9. public speaking skills 10. computer skills 10. self reflection 11.learning boundaries and comfort levels 12.what personality traits rub me the wrong way 13. communication and different techniques 14. game face 1 & 2 15. how important getting involved in your communities is 16. plan activities/ make life fun 17. finding a voice 18. advocating for yourself and others 19. confidence in general 20. team work in a career 21. knowing peoples intentions 22. there is a chain of events/things connect...cause & effect responsible 24. there are no excuses 25. be respectful 26. be on time 27. don't complain 28. don't bring others down to bring yourself up 29.other people have lots of wisdom, find it out and use it 30. being comfortable with conversations and people in general 31. having proper balance in my life (work,friends,romance,alone time,etc) 31. foster care has effected me and understanding how 32. positive relationships 33. mentors & role models are important 34. don't sell myself short 35. holding on to connections with ppl..its a two way street 36.have good presence 37.etc etc etc...lots more...i have changed & i will continue to do so in the future.....change comes slow but im always analyzing things

15.How did the All-Star experience change your thinking about foster care? Did it change how you
look at your own foster care experience? Please explain how?

Umm YES!!!...i never thought of my FC experience like now. I just said, "messed up things happen in life and i could have been way worse off". I still think that but in a totally different way. I made numerous realizations about myself and the way my personality is today (lots of them!!!). One for example, just three months ago i graduated and i was barely proud of myself, because i am just hard on myself sometimes ( i dont know how to explain it, i dont put myself down...but i dont build myself up i guess either in some ways...i always say i could have done better...which is true but i need to at least give myself credit for something)
Now i give my self credit, i am capable, i am coach-able & i feel proud of my success so far( i did before but i needed a boost for sure : ) ....i saw flash backs of myself in a youth at conferences and feeling so much for them...just getting a second of those overwhelming feelings of what it felt like at that age & knowing this is what they are experiencing every day, right now. thinking i know i moved on from this but will they...and hoping so much they will. I did not advocate for myself but i will do it for them!

Aug 20, 2009 By mariah1986