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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Foster Care Writing Contest (Staff Shout-Out): My Champion
Ms. Farrar, Broome Street Academy
Chanel S.
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I switched from a big public school to the smaller Broome Street Academy. Each student there is assigned a “champion,” or personal counselor. My champion was Ms. Farrar.

During my second week, I was already in drama with some girls over a guy. I had switched schools to stay focused instead of fighting, but they kept bugging me. I burst into Ms. Farrar’s office and explained everything that was going on. She said, “Worry about school and not these little boys, and don’t worry about those girls either.”

But one day, one of the girls bumped me. My friend stopped me from fighting and dropped me off downstairs with my champ. I was so heated, I didn’t know where to start. Ms. Farrar let me ramble and then tried to calm me down. She offered to buy me lunch and said she didn’t want to see me in trouble.

After that, my champ checked in with me several times a day. I would go to her office to finish up my homework. She made sure I was good and had what I needed. She stuck with me while the girls continued to want to fight me.

Meanwhile, I got adopted. But after a while, my adopted mother said I couldn’t stay with her anymore. I became homeless, stayed with my boyfriend, couch surfed, and ended up in a group home. Throughout that time I was hardly going to school. I only went to see my best friend and Ms. Farrar.

My champion always gave constructive criticism, personal advice, and a listening ear. She called me if I didn’t show up for school. Eventually, I decided to leave Broome Street Academy for a fresh start, and it turned out she also was leaving the following school year. But we remain in contact to this very day. She helped me a lot. I love her and I know she loves me.



Tell Us How a Staff Member Has Helped You—Win $100

Staff Shout-Out 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 vvitzthum@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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(FCYU-2019-10-02)

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