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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Staff Shout-Out: She Sees the Best Me
Annette Scott, Mercy First
Justin A.

When I was first placed at my residential facility, I showed no regard for the rules and regulations. My actions when I came here were selfish, immature, and blatantly disrespectful.

But one staff showed the utmost respect and faith in me from day one. Mrs. Annette, who I call Mama Annette, is the kindest-hearted, most caring staff. She encouraged me to be a role model in this program, and to go home and succeed. When I’m mad or having a bad day, her mere presence makes my mood change instantly.

Mrs. Annette doesn’t care what we are here for. She just cares about us improving every day as a resident and as a person. She wants the best out of all of us. For example, I was on my way to becoming a level resident in a couple weeks when I AWOLed. I cannot even describe the disappointment Mrs. Annette showed me, not with words but with her silence and facial expression.

Today I am on my way to making level and I can say Mrs. Annette kept me on track. I know that even if she’s not in the unit, somehow, someway she is going to find out if I am doing well or not. So I try to keep my negative behavior to a minimum. Mrs. Annette motivates me to do better and to make her proud.

Mrs. Annette has helped me grow as a resident at Mercy First, and as a person. She motivates me to do right and stay in program, and I sincerely love her. I thank her every day.

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 with the subject line Staff Shout-Out. Essays will be edited for length and clarity. The writer of the essay we run will receive $100.

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