Cuz even though the road gets tough
I run uphill with an adrenaline rush
Fight in my eyes; Pain in my soul
Can’t give up until I reach my goal
A school full of children, what a wonderful dream
Until I succeed, it’s just another wish
Hard work always pays off in the end
One day I’ll have a key said the boy chasing his dream…— Davon Ebb
I’ve been in foster care since I was 11. I’m to leave the system in December when I turn 21. I’ve been in only three homes since entering the system, which is a blessing. I have a great bond with each family still to this day. I know some youths who have moved from home to home, which really doesn’t give a child structure or a foundation.
I’ve been lucky: My first home encouraged me to stay in school and get my high school diploma. It took an extra year, but I have my diploma. My second home encouraged me to find a job. It took some time, but I eventually found one. And my third home encouraged me to focus on one goal at a time and have at it.
I know other youths in care who never had the support I’ve had and really don’t know what the future has in store for them. With a little more structure, maybe they would have felt encouraged to better themselves instead of always feeling disappointed.
Transitioning out of foster care is difficult for a lot of youths because we get financially dependent on the system. In many ways, the system makes us handicapped. Instead of providing us with these services, why not teach us how to use these services on our own? Teach us how to budget our money correctly, instead of giving us money and telling us to use it wisely. Sign us up, according to our schedules, in programs that will benefit us mentally and financially. If the a young person decides that he doesn’t want to join that program, don’t try to talk him into going. Try to remain positive and don’t give up. Not everyone works at the same pace.
What helps is special opportunities to give us a chance to excel. For instance, on Thursday the city’s Children and Family Services Agency sponsored a job fair called JumpStart that gave youths in foster care a chance to have on-the-spot interviews. It was very helpful for the youths who have been turned down from employment opportunities multiple times. I personally would love to find a job in either child care or a family restaurant because I love kids and am very social. There was also information on housing to help those in foster care transition to adulthood smoothly.
I firmly believe that at the end of the day, I’m in this world by myself. I’m not always going to have the support I had when I was younger. I’m determined to become a success, not only for me but for my daughter, my mother, sisters, niece and nephew. I want them to see that if I can make it out of foster care and become successful, then there is nothing that should stop them.
Davon Ebb is a graduate of North Point High School in Waldorf. He plans to attend Job Corps, where he plans to study to be a barber.
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