Are You Foster Curious? Meet Chelsah Ratkowski

“Suffering as becoming is the only way to fully become.”

When I was at an Amara mentorship outing recently, one of the kids who had been adopted from foster care –he was 11 years old–asked me about my tattoo. For me, the idea of “suffering as becoming”  is the notion that each individual will go through a set of trials and tribulations. The truth is everyone suffers. Our experience in foster care may be more than what the typical person experiences but it’s how you deal with your suffering — that’s how you become the person you’re meant to be. He paused to take it in, he was quiet, and then we kept talking!

I graduated from Seattle University (SU) and was given a full ride scholarship through Fostering Scholars (which just celebrated its 10th anniversary in October!). It covers tuition, year-round housing, books, and food for youth who had been in foster care. I wouldn’t have been able to make it through without them.

I was also the first Fostering Scholars alumni to become a donor. I spoke at SU’s gala when I was a student in front of a thousand people and I remember looking into the crowd and making a promise to myself that I couldn’t wait to give back to the community the way I had been given to.

It’s possible to move forward, wake up one day and be in a totally different position.

I am a foster care alumnus, Fostering Scholars alumnus, and mentor of foster youth.


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!

2017-07-06T11:00:04+00:00May 18th, 2017|Categories: Voices from Families|Tags: , , , , , |