Hannah entered foster care in 1998 at 7. In the past 11 years, Hannah has had 17 placements and many school changes, which set her back academically. Hannah's placements have been without her brother. However, Hannah has shown remarkable resilience. She has caught up on her high school credits and will graduate next year.
Hannah has served as co-chair of the Oregon Department of Human Services District 2 Foster Youth Advisory Council since she helped establish it in 2007. She has found she has a talent for public speaking. Hannah has recently served on a panel for the Child Welfare League of America Conference, filmed a television Public Service Announcement for the Native American Youth Association, and she has also become a regular speaker at foster parent trainings in which she tells about her experiences in foster care.
Hannah is largely motivated by her life experiences and has a passionate desire to help other foster children. She realizes that not all foster children are as resilient as she, and does not want them to face the same difficulties she has had to overcome.
Hannah is a junior at the Native American Youth Association Academy in Portland. After she graduates in 2010, Hannah plans to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Oregon State University. Following that, she hopes to complete the Master of Social Work Program at Portland State University with the goal of becoming a social worker. Eventually, Hannah would like to move into a role in which she could influence policies and programs which would have a broader impact in improving the lives of children.
Hannah has affiliations with the Ojibwa and Cherokee, and many of her interests revolve around Native American themes.