For as long as I can remember, education has always been a priority in my life. As a young girl, I would stay up reading books and doing homework as a hobby. I was, in every sense of the word, a nerd. At the age of twelve, my father passed away and I found solace in schoolwork. School had turned into an escape from my home life, which was extremely dysfunctional, and I started delving more and more into my assignments.
When I entered the foster care system, I had been separated from my younger sister and I was alone, which resulted in me becoming even more involved in education while in high school. It felt that when I had nothing, I had an education. I did very well in high school, my foster parents encouraged me to be involved in sports, band, and choir. Juggling teenage hormones with adult responsibilities, like attending court, put tremendous stress upon my shoulders. However, I was able to carry on and become a responsible teenager. Every time I would see my case worker, she would always encourage me by supporting my dreams of becoming a classical musician. She would constantly tell me that I had a good head on my shoulders and that my future held many promises.
As I was coming into realizing what my dreams for my life were, I wanted to let my sister know that I was not going to let tragedy stop me from doing what I wanted to do.
Having that kind of support helped me stay focused on my future. During my high school years, I would have visits with my younger sister, and as I matured more and more, I realized that I wanted to be a strong role model for her and set an example for her to follow. As I was coming into realizing what my dreams for my life were, I wanted to let my sister know that I was not going to let tragedy stop me from doing what I wanted to do. Becoming more than my situation was a huge goal for me and as I started learning how to become independent through the Chafee program, I found out the statistics for youths who age out of the foster care system. The extremely low numbers of youths who graduated from college were so shocking to me that at that point I decided I would continue on to higher education. Aging out of the system and having a little sister motivated me to become better and follow my dreams of becoming a successful classical musician. To this day, foster care is still shaping my goals. I am hoping to be a part of the Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program this May through the National Foster Youth Institute. I want to use my platform as a musician to spread awareness about our national foster system. Going through trials and tribulations throughout my teenage years and aging out of the foster care system have only motivated me to continue my education and have the best possible future I can achieve.
You can support Hadassah’s fundraiser by donated here.
Hadassah is the National Foster Parent Association’s 2019 Continuing Education Scholarship winner.