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ISBN: 9781935552185
Foster Care Writing Contest (Staff Shout-Out): A Wonderful, Powerful Woman
Diana, MercyFirst
Tiana G.

When I first arrived at MercyFirst I was rebellious, ignorant, selfish, and disrespectful. Nobody liked me because I was mean to everyone. The first week I got into two brutal fights. I felt unloved, so I showed no love.

When I first encountered Ms. Diana, a paraprofessional who worked in Recreation, I was disrespectful to her, as usual. But instead of going back and forth with me, Ms. Diana pulled me to the side and showed me how to interact with others in a respectful manner, explaining why it’s important to do so. She saw an opportunity to give me guidance that I desperately needed but didn’t know how to ask for. She saw and brought out the best in me.

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Every day our bond got stronger. She encouraged me and showed me how to be a positive role model for others. She taught me how to succeed in my short- and long-term goals.

Wanting to make her proud, I worked my way up to less restrictive levels and then got discharged. But I fell into the same misbehaviors and was sent back three weeks later.

Everyone was disappointed that I’d returned to the residential treatment facility, including me. When Ms. Diana found out, instead of dwelling on the negative, she asked, “What could you have done differently, so the next time you’re discharged you know how to deal with situations more optimally?” We then went over my safety plan, and she gave me her insight on what I’ve done right and when I went wrong.

Ms. Diana, thank you for your continuous support. You are a beautiful, wonderful, and powerful woman. You never gave up on me, and I’m going to make you proud.

Tell Us Your Story—Win $100

This column is written by our readers in care. Tell us about a staff who believed in you, listened to you, advocated for you, gave you great advice, who in any way made your life better. Email your essay to representmail@youthcomm.org with the subject line Foster Care Writing Contest. Essays will be edited for length and clarity. The writer of the essay we run will receive $100.

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