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Former foster care youth inspired to become an advocate for young adults

By Miranda

My name is Miranda and I'm 27 years old. I first came to Ready for Life when I was about 19 years old. I was still on independent living, so I didn't really need much help. I needed more guidance and support. Which I came to find out Ready for Life would be that for me. They became my family and my support system! I have participated in Youth Council, The Amazing Race, and Florida Youth Shine, to stay involved and to have my voice heard.  RFL really helped mold me into the adult I am now. After several years, I was about 23 or 24, I drifted away from RFL. Not for anything bad, but because I was being an adult. I had a full-time job, relationship, and bills. I was just too busy! 

When I got a job being a peer mentor and I became reconnected with RFL. I would go to the Skill Center to talk and see the youth and would share my life experiences to help them with the things they are going through. I let them know it will be ok and I let them know that we have all made mistakes, and it does not mean the end of the world when things go bad. I really enjoy being the person new young people aging out of foster come to with questions and for advice. They don’t always listen but when they fail, I let them know that it’s still ok. I am also working to break the stigma on mental health issues. I talk to the youth and tell them that they are more than their diagnosis and they can do anything that want. 

I am working towards my Florida certification to become a Certified Youth Recovery Peer Specialist. I want to continue using my past experiences as a positive to help others. I believe that I went through the things I did to be able to advocate and help the kids after me. I am more than “my parents just couldn’t care for me” or “I was dealt a crappy hand”, I am a purpose! I am an advocate! I have a destiny! So. I will continue to work in the field to give others hope that they are more than a “foster kid”, more than a “diagnosis”. Everything happens for a reason and they have a greater purpose.  

Join us in Changing Lives Beyond Foster Care!

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