Authored By: Teresa Cocker, Chief Program Officer
I had the opportunity to attend an 8th grade Promotion Ceremony this spring for a youth placed in one of our foster homes. As I watched him receive his diploma, and saw the pride in his eyes, I couldn’t help but reflect on all he had gone through in the past year:
- He was removed from his home and placed in a foster home
- He had received a disorderly conduct ticket after getting involved with the wrong crowd
- He had run away
- He had struggled in school academically
- He was disappointed by his biological family
…and somehow he was able to overcome all of that and focus on setting goals for himself and succeeding.
This youth has experienced significant trauma in his life and was at an all time low when he was placed in foster care. The ride has been bumpy and over time the bumps have become smaller. He has a treatment team that has wrapped around him and while there will still be barriers to overcome, he is now starting to write a different story for himself – one that includes trying his best at school, obtaining a part-time job, advocating for himself, and finding creative ways to express himself (he loves to write music!).
The number one predictor of a youth’s resiliency, is having a supportive, positive relationship with a caring adult. Our hope is that his foster parents continue to support him, and model for his birth family how to encourage him to reach his full potential.