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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Issue #120 (Spring 2015) issue cover
The Path to Advocacy

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Five youth advocates, ages 21-30, who were themselves in foster care, discuss how they told their own stories, learned to communicate effectively, began helping others, and their ideas for system change. (full text)

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The author endures a sexual assault when she's 8, and some of her family blames her. She slowly learns who she should trust and benefits from opening up to the right people. (full text)

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Victor reviews Rosie Perez's memoir of growing up in a group home where nuns abused her. Despite all her achievements, Perez suffers PTSD and depression and finally gets therapy years later. (full text)

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The author is dismayed by the greasy, fatty food and lack of vegetables in her group home. She persists in asking for healthier food -- and succeeds! (full text)

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Miguel joins youth-led advocacy group FACE (Fostering Advocacy Change and Empowerment) and finds satisfaction in helping others and sharpening his public speaking skills. (full text)

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Youth advocates in California and Oregon travel to their state capitols to lobby for improvements to those states' foster care systems. (full text)

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Jesse goes into care at age 9 and anger leads him to a life of drugs, violence, and homelessness. He cleans up, finds God, and devotes his life to helping others. (full text)

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Jazmine interviews the Commissioner of New York's Administration for Children's Services. Commissioner Carrión talks about how to improve social-emotional well-being for youth in care, jobs, and housing. (full text)

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V.N. pinpoints five big problems she experienced in foster care. For each one, she offers suggestions for system change and suggestions for things youth can do. (full text)

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Victor interviews former foster youth Jessica Maxwell, who heads up the Foster Youth Success Alliance. FYSA is pushing for legislation that would require New York state to pay for college for youth in care. (full text)

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Shannon Cleary of the Morningside Heights Legal Services Clinic summarizes the Clinic's upcoming report suggesting ways to help youth aging out get housing. (full text)

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Essay winners write about their heroes. (full text)

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Help youth learn how to advocate for themselves and think deeply about the benefits--and drawbacks--of trusting someone. (full text)

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After the decision not to indict the white police officer accused of killing Eric Garner, who was black, five writers went to their first-ever protest. (full text)
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