2013 Outstanding Young Leader

Ridmi Coe

19 years old
Spent 6 years in Vermont's foster care system

Ridmi is in a good situation now. She is enrolled in college, volunteers a ton and stays with an adoptive family. However, she knows the foster care system has a lot of room for improvement. She feels there are lot of gaps that needs to be filled and there are things that should be addressed for the children that are a part of that system. She writes, “Foster kids are directly affected by the system and yet have little voice in what happens to them. The system is created to help children that have been abused and neglected. When the system fails it adds to the burden and trauma. It's important to give foster children the opportunity to improve the system to reduce any problems.” Having been disappointed by many different “forever homes”, Ridmi feels her resilience gives her an edge to better help others and improve the system. Ridmi entered care at age twelve. While she remained in foster care until her eighteenth birthday, she had a difficult time maintaining relationships with her biological family including her siblings. Language and cultural barriers made it difficult to understand each other's situation. Ridmi laments, “The lack of resources the system had in understanding cultural differences made certain issues more challenging.” Unsure whether clinical psychology or psychiatry will be her path, Ridmi occupies a lot of her spare time volunteering. She has a strong committment to to community service and has participated in events with Key Club, Restorative Justice, Multi-Cultured Club, Environmental Club, Cooking for Cause and S.A.D.D (Students Against Destructive Decisions). As a special award, Ridmi was chosen to represent Vermont in the National Cherry Blossom Festival held in Washington DC in April 2013.


Biography written by FosterClub volunteer: Meagan Tuhy
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