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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Congratulations Winners! #125
Write a letter to someone you’ve hurt
Writing Contest Winners


1st Prize $150 winner + $200 “wish certificate” from One Simple Wish
I Couldn’t Say “I’m Sorry”

I was a junior and a star on my high school’s volleyball team. She was a senior and always sat alone in the corners of the cafeteria. We were placed next to each other in English class.

I say this with shame now: When she spoke to me in the presence of my friends, I was rude and responded to her with a bitter tone. My immature and inconsiderate 16-year-old self did not wish to speak to someone who had no friends, spoke slowly, and was a geeky special needs student. Sometimes, with no one around, we shared some laughs. But the next day I ignored her.

In my senior year she called me. She confronted me and asked, “Were you embarrassed of me?” My voice faded away. In my head I was thinking “I’m sorry,” but my lips could not voice it.

Today, I’m a sophomore in college, and I regret being that person full of prejudice and willing to ruin someone’s day. I hope she can forgive me.

Adriana Vega, 19
Woodhaven, NY



2nd Prize $100 winner + $100 “wish certificate” from One Simple Wish
My Drinking’s Not Your Fault

Dear “John,”

I’m sorry I hacked your Facebook account and told private things about you to your 1,100 Facebook friends (and counting). I took our breakup hard and I realize now that I expected you to save me from all my troubles. I realize that you were not responsible for my drinking or the self-pity, loneliness, and self-loathing that made me drink. Expecting you to change me was unfair.

I slandered your name and credibility because of my anger at you. I am sorry to say I was not mature enough to talk through the problem as my feelings were too hurt.

Even though I think it’s best we stay apart, I am proud of you for going to the school you wanted to go to and obtaining a job where you wanted to work. And though things did not work out between us, I appreciate the lesson you left with me. It resonates in every relationship I have or will have: Treat people as you want to be treated.

Anonymous, 21
New York, NY



3rd Prize $50 winner + $50 “wish certificate” from One Simple Wish
I Didn't Understand

Dear Mom:

I know I wasn’t the greatest daughter. I fought with you and turned my back on you, and then I left to live with Uncle Frankie.

I didn’t understand why Daddy wasn’t with us. I didn’t understand why you tolerated your boyfriend who I hated so much.

I apologize for what I did. I know now that you were a strong independent woman who was young when you had me. I know you put food on the table and a roof over my head. You would eat only a bagel for the whole day so I had enough to eat and money in my pocket. When I look back, I see I didn’t appreciate you the way I should have.

Bianca Baez, 16
Brooklyn, NY



Honorable Mention: Zhaniah Lane.

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(FCYU-2015-10-28)

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