The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Broken Homes
A home is more than just four walls.
author image Zaniyah gets pregnant before she ages out, in part to have the family she didn't have in foster care. Her NYCHA apartment has problems, but it does have family.

When I was 9, my dad left because my mom caught him cheating, so it was just my mom, my two younger siblings, and me. After my dad left, I no longer felt like I had a home where I belonged... [more]

Moving On Moving On
When I Want to Cut, Instead I.... - How I Stopped Fighting - Forgiving My Father - I Can't Save My Syster - I'm Done With Abusive Boyfriends - PLUS - Writing Contest: Win $100!
[more stories]
I Didn't Get to Be a Kid The writer's childhood was a blur of drug dealing, abuse, death, and chaos. He mourns never getting to "do kid things" and ponders how he'll ever be able to trust. [more]
Living on Your Own Psychotherapists Sylvia Lester and Marina Stolerman of The Fostering Connection give tips on how to make a house or apartment a home and how to live on your own. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
Falling Into Trust The author feels isolated at school, partly because of abuse at home. She makes a friend and tells him ALMOST everything. She discovers he's held back some secrets too. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
Peaceful Warrior The author, frustrated by abuse and unfairness, fights. After hitting a pregnant girl, she realizes she must stop and does, with the help of yoga, running, and therapy. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
How to Ditch Bad Habits—and Bad Relationships A therapist explains how abuse and neglect can lead to isolating behaviors like fighting, cutting, substance abuse as well as more abusive relationships. She also gives practical tips for quitting self-destructive habits. [more]
Not My Father's Son V.M.'s father abandons the family and then berates V.M. for crying when his mother dies. V.M. learns how to be a better man by tuning into good role models and his own compassion. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
Advocating at Shadow Day Alesha participates in Shadow Day, where New York foster youth get to spend a day with the New York City Council. The youth advocate for changes they'd like to see in the city's foster care system. [more]
Batman and Robin The author is confused by why her family is so mean to her feminine brother. As she learns what "gay" means, she steps up to defend and support him. [more]
How I Heal My Broken Heart The author was molested by her uncle for several years. After she goes into care, she heals her heart with therapy, groups, prayer, good relationships, and writing about it. [more]
Pregnant at 13—What I Wish I’d Heard The author has not-entirely-consensual sex before she’s ready. She’s ashamed that it happened and ashamed to be pregnant. [more]
[LESSON PLAN]
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