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Youth and Foster Alumni Stories
Jamaica, New York
Keema Davis, 30, of Jamaica, New York, has gone full circle in more ways than one. As a foster care alumna, she knows the fear and distrust that can surface in rebelling against adults. She also knows how it feels to be a child welfare professional working with youth in the system, helping them find forever families.
Sixto Cancel may have spent a large chunk of his young life in foster care without the sense of permanency young people need to make successful forays into adulthood, but that doesn't mean he lacks a grasp of common sense. Now, a soon-to-be sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University, Cancel is dedicated to fighting for education continuity for youth in care.
Ashley is a living example that it only takes one person to change the life of a child. Thanks to a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate, she was able to defy the odds stacked against her after spending a decade of her life in foster care.
Bouncing from foster home to foster home since the age of three, all Marc ever longed for was to be with his older brother Matthew and have a family of his own. At age seven his dream came true.
Brooklyn, New York
Born in Belgium to Haitian parents who relocated to the United States on a visitor’s visa just three months after she was born, Merli Estime, 27, of Brooklyn, NY, emerged from a childhood of chaos in the U.S. foster care system with a college degree and firm rooting in a career as a youth advocate.