Tina: Community Saves
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by SMU Child Advocacy Clinic
2w ago
Tina’s story is one of community and being in the right places at the right time—or as Tina would say— miracles. After being removed from her mother’s home at the age of 16, Tina was placed in a group home. The structure became too much for her and she ran away. For a period of time, she lived on the street, couch surfing with former schoolmates, and in a house where she feared she would be trafficked. She was able to escape and luckily ran into her boyfriend’s sister who took her to their parent’s house. There she was caught hiding in his closet by a man who showed her kindness and convinced ..read more
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Rob Scheer: Foster Care to Founder
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by SMU Child Advocacy Clinic
1M ago
Rob Scheer shares his inspirational, full circle journey in this can't-miss episode. Rob experienced the foster care system as a youth, and is now a dedicated advocate for other youth in care, a veteran, a husband, a father of children previously in care, an author, a podcast host, and the founder of an impactful non-profit, Comfort Cases. Rob shares his personal insights into the foster care system and how his lived experiences guide the work he does today. Drawing on his experiences as a child who had to carry around a trash bag full of belongings from placement to placement, one of Rob's mi ..read more
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Bob: Not the "Property of Texas"
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by SMU Child Advocacy Clinic
2M ago
Bob’s story is one of resilience and regaining control. Bob first came to America from Ukraine at the age of 5. He was adopted into a family who subjected him to horrible treatment, until finally at the age of 12 he entered the foster care system. Bob went from placement to placement until he was adopted by his third placement. However, after being adopted, the relationship between Bob and his adoptive family crumbled. For many years, Bob had hardly any sense of control over his own life. He was told where to go, how to act, and who he was as a person. He even found out that his birthday had b ..read more
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Candace: It Didn't Happen to You, It Happened for You
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by SMU Child Advocacy Clinic
3M ago
Before graduating with her associate degree, to now working with patients with dementia and suicidality, Candace was teenager navigating her life in the foster care system. Faced with the hardship and heartbreak of being left by her biological family, Candace found hope in the system after being placed with a foster family who showed her unconditional love, support, and the unbreakable bond of family. This went on to change her life and the outlook she had on the system.    In the face of adversity, Candace found her voice in the world and used the obstacles she faced as fuel to beco ..read more
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Ryan’s Journey: A Story of Survival and Self-Discovery
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by SMU Child Advocacy Clinic
6M ago
Before finding his place in the world, Ryan faced unimaginable hardships. Raised in an unstable environment, his early years were marked by turmoil, as he grappled with his identity amidst the backdrop of foster care. But adolescence had an unexpected twist in store for him. Faced with a life-altering decision, Ryan had mere minutes to choose between living with his aunt and uncle or remaining in foster care. The weight of this decision hung heavily over him, even today Ryan considers how this decision had the power to redefine his entire future. In the face of adversity, Ryan found the streng ..read more
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Betty: A Light Shines in the Darkness
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by SMU Child Advocacy Clinic
7M ago
Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Betty moved to the United States with her father and younger sister when she was nine years old. When Betty was seventeen, her father went back to Africa, leaving Betty and her sister behind in foster care. Relying on her faith, Betty prayed for a loving home that would keep her with her sister. Betty feels incredibly lucky to have been placed with foster parents that she now calls family. Betty feels that foster kids are unfairly stereotyped as “bad kids” and she wants people to know that they are more than just a kid in the system. Now in col ..read more
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Leroy: From Foster Care to Youth Advocate
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by SMU Child Advocacy Clinic
1y ago
In this episode, we hear the story of Leroy, who went into foster care in November 2005 due to abuse and neglect. He spent two years in foster care, during which time all of his siblings were in different homes. After two and a half years, he went back to live with his mom, but unfortunately, the abuse started back up again. After being saved by CPS, he went through several foster placements, attended multiple schools, and finally graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice. Now, he's creating a program from scratch called the Youth Impact Project Manager, where he is working diligently to sup ..read more
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Mikayla: From Foster Care to 4.0s (Part II)
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by SMU Child Advocacy Clinic
1y ago
This week's episode picks back up with Mikayla! In part two, hear how attorneys and advocates helped her navigate the system and her journey through the aging out process. If you are a former foster child who aged out of the system and want to share your story, email us at agedoutproject@gmail.com! You deserve to be heard. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @agedoutproject!   Credits: Interviewee: Mikayla Slaydon Interviewers: Peyton McAlister and Catherine Pieratt Editor: Soheil Abdmousavi Editing Team: Peyton McAlister and Catherine Pieratt Music Credit: Nostalgia by Tobu https ..read more
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Mikayla: From Foster Care to 4.0s (Part I)
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by W.W. Caruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic
1y ago
This week's episode features Mikayla Slaydon! Hear Mikayla talk about how her experiences growing up shaped who she is today. From living with her pastor and being placed into foster care, to being valedictorian of her high school and getting 4.0s in college, Mikayla’s story is one you don’t want to miss!   If you are a former foster child who aged out of the system and want to share your story, email us at agedoutproject@gmail.com! You deserve to be heard. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @agedoutproject!   Credits: Interviewee: Mikayla Slaydon Interviewers: Peyton McAlister and ..read more
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Mandalyn: Don't Limit Yourself to What Your File Says
Aged Out | The Stories that Built Us
by SMU Child Advocacy Clinic
1y ago
Mandalyn entered foster care at 16 years old after her father threatened to kill her. This occurred after she was removed from her mother’s home due to her mother's addiction to methamphetamine. Mandalyn was bounced around from kin to friends to foster homes and was even homeless at times. Despite a father who pulled her out of school in 8th grade, and never staying in one school for more than a year and a half, Mandalyn persevered. She overcame a caseworker who told her she was too dramatic for a family setting, 6 psychiatric hospitals, and a disinterested lawyer. Mandalyn herself said it bes ..read more
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