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 #133 (Summer 2018) issue cover
Transformation

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Samantha recounts how her worker Jody Anderson helped her in practical and emotional ways and inspired Samantha to become a social worker herself. (full text)

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Writers in this issue describe how they took control of their lives by facing their feelings, buckling down in school, and accepting their sexual identities and gender expressions. (full text)

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The writer adopts a tough persona, squelching his own feelings. He alienates his girlfriend, loses his son, and almost ends his life. He finally gets real and turns his life around. (full text)

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Andrew notices from an early age that he does not identify with anything heavily gendered, neither masculine nor feminine. On the Internet, he discovers the concept of "non-binary" and finds himself. (full text)

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Tayia reviews the TV show This Is Us, which features a family that decides to foster a child. She notes how things can go wrong even when people have the best intentions. (full text)

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Alexus is attracted to girls from a young age. She hears enough homophobia to keep her bisexuality quiet, but eventually grows to accept her whole self. (full text)

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Inspired by the activist teens in Parkland, Florida, Carolina takes a bus to Washington DC to protest gun violence and the lack of laws preventing it. (full text)

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Alexus reviews Jim St. Germain's vivid story of growing up rough in Brooklyn and straightening his life out during a stay at Boys Town, a residential facility. (full text)

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N.V. has been hurt by uncaring parents and foster care. Tired of jumping from girl to girl, she tries to be a steadier girlfriend, but it's harder than she expects. (full text)

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The writer gets into makeup after feeling ugly as a child. People respond well to her new look, and she finds she needs a full face to go outside. (full text)

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J.G. has a sad life and sometimes acts out in unhealthy ways. She's put on way too much medication, which doesn't feel like a solution. She tries to change her way of looking at things instead. (full text)

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Shateek sees no future for himself, so he messes up in school. Helped by a few counselors, he applies himself just in time to graduate and get into college. (full text)

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The writer goes through a lot of tribulations after she ages out -- money and job troubles, bad roommates, and mental health issues. Through it all, her apartment holds her down (full text)

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Staff can use the story "I Had to Dig Up My Buried Feelings To Save My Life" to guide teens toward better understanding why they do what they do. (full text)
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