I was in and out of the foster care system for the first 11 years of my life. At 11 years old, I entered the system permanently. My sister and I were in foster care for two and a half years before we found our forever family (through Amara!).

My foster/adoptive parents were told not to expect much from me as I would likely not graduate from high school. My whole life had been decided by those around me. Thankfully, my parents did not believe what they were told and saw the potential hidden underneath the scared and angry 14-year-old. Through dedication and hard work, I now have a Master of Education.

As a second-grade teacher, I love to tell my students that one moment does not need to determine the rest of their lives. My hope is to use my life experiences as a tool to better the lives of every child that who walks through my classroom. Each and every one of them has amazing gifts to offer the world.

I am a teacher, alumni of foster care, an Amara adoptee, and Amara Foster Care Alumni Advisory Committee member.

In celebration of Foster Care Awareness Month in May, we are highlighting the extensive network of support that surrounds the child in foster care. From foster families to extended family members, to teachers and foster care youth advocates. We appreciate the unique strengths and skills that each role brings to ensure that children in foster care have the love and support they need to thrive. We salute you!