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Youth and Foster Alumni Stories
Maxine Archibald was born into an abusive household and spent her early childhood severely ill. She credits a child welfare worker for removing her from her birth father when she was 9 and placing her with loving foster parents. For 13 years her forever family raised her. Looking back on her life, she believes her marriage, her children, grandchildren, and her business career, would have not been possible if not for her foster parents.
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.
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