Jackie entered the Foster Care System at age 12 and remained in the system for six years, aging out at 18. During her time in the system, she had seven foster homes and six caseworkers. While in the system, Jackie was a member of "Reaching For Teen Group", foster youth advocating for foster parents to adopt teenagers. Currently she is a member of FACT (Foster Advocates Change Team).
This team is writing a three volume document that will hopefully be used to overhaul the foster care system at the national level. The team has already made the changes to the Emancipation (Aging-Out) program and Jackie played a tremendous role in its completion. She has had to exit the system with very little assistance from the Independent Living Program (ILP) and yet continues to move forward. Jackie was in a group home with five other girls and they all came to church together. Ms. Mason was the oldest and she took care of the other girls.
The church members looked to her as a leader and it was because of her efforts the church started a Foster Youth Ministry to provide adoptive homes for kids in the system. Jackie’s diagnosis of Dyslexia was much delayed. In spite of this, she completed high school and started college.
She is determined that her Dyslexia will not detour her and that she will go toward her goal of being a Therapist. Given her desire and real-life experiences, she plans to continue to do wonderful things for foster kids.