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Foster Care Writing Contest (Staff Shout-Out): She Gave Me Goals
Ann Rickitts, MercyFirst
Christian V.
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When I first arrived at the residential treatment facility, I was going through a hard phase. I didn’t care about anything. I felt like my whole life was ruined, until I met Ms. Ann Rickitts, a staff there.

When I first arrived, Ms. Ann explained the rules, privileges, level standards, and opportunities I had. One day that week, I walked out of program because my family and I were going through tough times. The next day, Ms. Ann saw me very depressed, and asked what was going on with me. I explained my whole situation at home.

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She told me that if I wanted to make things better I had to do my treatment and complete the program. She also told me to start setting goals, so I set small goals for myself every day, like going to extra activities. I started having successful days and weeks and soon earned the privilege to go on recreational trips. Going on trips was step one of gaining the trust of my treatment team and staff. Later on, I was able to start working on campus.

Due to my good behavior and Ms. Ann, I was able to have jobs at the dog program, the cafeteria, recreation, and several others. I joined the youth development and youth leadership program. I represented the agency in many social and public functions. I was able to attend the youth leadership retreat, and it was a lot of fun.

Ms. Ann gave me a quote she liked: “You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” Now I have that quote hung up in my room to motivate me. It also reminds me of my favorite staff, Ms. Ann. She is a kindhearted, honest, real, and loving person.


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.

(FCYU-2017-07-02)