Power of One
Tea, politics, soccer, and tea again; these were the ingredients of a village gathering. I recall the winters of my early teenage years. Villagers would bond and debate over how to fix the world’s problems. Often the debate’s topic was a question like, “Which country is the best country to live in?” I remember one name that would always be at the top after the debate and everyone would agree by the end: the United States of America. Everyone would unknowingly bring up their perception of the American dream — people who work hard would get ahead in life. Years later and after living in this country for a year and half, I find that statement hard to believe. As a student and working two jobs I still live paycheck to paycheck.
Power of One
There are a lot of people that will help you get into college and to help you pay for college but staying in college is a different story. College is talked about a lot in high school. You can go to a counselor or teacher and they will help you find colleges and funding. In addition, as a young person who aged out of care, you can receive more financial assistance because you can claim independent on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and there are other programs that will even assist a student in covering their cost of attendance or books.
Art in Action
I wrote this because I changed homes and schools often in foster care, but I seemed to never lose track of my persistence to succeed. Facing change and adversity led to a light being turned on that may have never turned on in my previous environment. I just needed a place to excel in and I imagine this would be sort of like a call made to a foster parent about me. I want to urge foster youth that despite the obstacles of their past, they can succeed in the future.
— Ethan Carolus, Spokane Chapter
Radio’s Broken Heart
I am from the dirt that flys from under
I am the lone and forgotten and
I am the out stretched hand of
a homeless teen
I am the lost and found.
I am the smell of horses on a l
ate night drive
I am the boy crying over
his mother’s body
I am the 8 year old forced
in a gang...
I am the little brother of a girl
who did anything to feed us.
I am the lost boy from never land…
I am always looking for a place
to call home.
I am the cast out, the dirty
and the unwanted.
I am a homeless, forgotten
and failed foster case.
I am a ghost.
— Cory Butler, Yakima Chapter
For the unclaimed ones:
Pastel painted girls
With holes in their lips,
And beautifully wasted.
Fishnets ripped to stylish perfection,
Cigarettes clamped between rainbow
For the unclaimed ones:
Boys with patches on jean vests
And pulsing with nomadic urges.
Talent hidden beneath discrimination,
Hearts in back pockets.
Called tough for actually feeling.
Those boys, Were without homes
But had I found my own,
I never would have known.
— Maven Gardner, Network Representative
I wrote these things because they are big parts of my life. Othello is my home town and all those family members aren’t in my life anymore.
I am from pizza, turkey, and M & M cake. I am from BBQ pits and fireworks. I am from “you got this” and “just do it”. I am from Jessica, Caron, Eli, Kim, Rebeccah, Faith and Austin. I am from Othello. — Sadee Logan, Yakima Chapter
The piece of art that I created is supposed to resemble the hardships that homelessness manifests. True happiness is in the eye of the beholder. People may seem like they are fine when in reality they’re not; so give unconditional love to brighten the lives of people who need it.
Learned Here — Azia Ruff
I am who I say I am
I am from fry bread cooked in the kitchen.
I am from huckleberry jam spread with precision.
I am from cement walls and the street.
I am from fresh air and clothes not so neat.
I am from you can do anything to you are worth
I am from opposition from the outside
I am from inspiration rising inside. I
am from persevering success, and found when
I was most distressed.
— Sam Tinker, Yakima Chapter
I am Inuit Alaskan Native American. So, fry
bread is what we eat. Every year my mom
takes us huckleberry picking. She makes
muffins, jam, bread etc. When I was living
with family I lived in a gloomy basement with
cement floors and walls. Then to the streets
to escape. My clothes were a mix of hand me
downs and thrift stores. I have had teachers
and family members tell me I am worth
nothing, and others saying I am capable of
everything. Being homeless made me realize
no one is going to advocate for me
better than me. I became strong
when I was distressed.
I believe it’s important to have those with lived experience be heard loud and clear, all of us here at Mockingbird do. I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to share my experience with homelessness and foster care.