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Youth and Foster Alumni Stories
San Antonio, Texas
Phillip Hodge, 28, of San Antonio, Texas, spent the majority of his childhood in foster care. Channeling the trauma and stress he experienced into music, Hodge has gone on to become a successful free style rapper known as Thuggizzle. Using his voice in hip hop, Hodge actively gives back to those in need through three different organizations that help families of children with special needs, parents whose children have been removed from their custody, and those with breast cancer.
Sunshine Peterman, who didn't have a mother at home while she was growing up, never thought she would have children of her own. Now, at 38 and living in Rushville, Indiana, she has 10 children – five by birth and five by adoption.
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.
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