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Youth and Foster Alumni Stories


Bedford Hills, New York

Inspired by mentors in her own life, Tanya Cooper prevailed through 16 years of foster care to become a youth activist, writer and motivational speaker working to change the face of foster care one child at a time. She shares with us her courageous story of becoming her own hero.

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Verona, New Jersey

Refusing to be defined by the stereotypes of children aging out of care, Tanisha A. Cunningham took matters into her own hands at an early age. Now, as the CEO of a nonprofit helping other youth aging out of care, she shares with us her story of believing she could rewrite her own destiny.

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Stone Mountain, Georgia

Actress and author Lauretta Ali lived in foster care during the 1950s before being reunited with her birth mother. She shares with us her journey through foster care and the positive difference it can make in a child’s life.

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Sierra was adopted at age eight with her sister Cassie. Her experience is similar to the thousands of children adopted every year in the U.S. She shares with us her advice to parents and children.

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Born heroin-addicted in a federal prison and adopted out of foster care at age four, Deborah Jiang Stein struggled for years to find a sense of identity. Now an author and motivational speaker, she shares with us a poetic recount of her journey from rebellion to re-invention.

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