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Youth and Foster Alumni Stories

Ieesha

Laurel, Maryland

Ieesha Johnson had to grow up faster than other kids, taking care of four younger brothers and sisters while her mother struggled with addiction. In spite of the adversity, she went on to college, earned a graduate degree and plans to start an organization to help children in foster care transition into adulthood.

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Tanya

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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Tanisha

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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Lauretta

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

Alaska

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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