I just love to hear about great people doing AMAZING things. Meet State Representative-Elect Erica R. Thomas (District 39) who has a wonderful story! Erica went into the foster care system at 15 years old and then aged out of the system. She went on to college and created a non-profit, Speak Out Loud, to help other children who have a similar story.
“As a former foster child, I know all too well the perils, damage and disappointments of the system that can push an impressionable young person to engage in destructive behaviors. I was placed in foster care at the age of 15, transferred to numerous homes, abused while in the system and eventually ‘aged out.’ I was blessed to have mentors and others in the community who took a vested interest in my success, which helped propel me to pursue higher education and ultimately achieve my dream of becoming an elected official.” -Erica R. Thomas
Erica is urging the community to get involved by:
Becoming A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA): A CASA is a person empowered by the courts to be an advocate for a child in foster care. CASAs are volunteers, not social workers or attorneys, as assist the court by gathering information and learning more about the child to aid in providing the best permanent placement option for them. For more information about becoming a CASA, you can learn more from the National CASA Association here: http://www.casaforchildren.org/
Volunteering Your Time: Becoming a mentor to a foster child or volunteering your time and resources to assist organizations that service foster children can make a lifetime of difference. http://www.childwelfare.gov/ is a national resource that will provide information about local organizations in need of assistance.
Considering Adoption: The idea of expanding your family by adopting a child may seem scary. But if it is something that you’ve considered, countless resources are available to assist you through every stage of the process. The life-changing benefits in the life of the child that you’d adopt definitely make exploring organizations like The Dave Thomas Foundation (http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/) for more information.
Erica is also an author of the forthcoming children’s book It’s Erica, a series of children’s books about the magical adventures of a foster child.
Sending a huge THANK YOU to Erica for #givingback 🙂