Angela: Finding her place in this world
December 15th will be a bittersweet day for Angela. It’s her 21st birthday – a milestone for various reasons. But as a foster kid, turning 21 comes with a lot of additional baggage.
On December 15th Angela will emancipate from foster care, which is cause to celebrate but also means a lot of changes are in store for the bright young woman. Angela, with support from Beyond Emancipation, has been preparing for this day (and the rest of her life) for years. B:E has supported Angela to not only succeed on her own, but to give back and share her wisdom.
Getting to this milestone has had its challenges. “I didn’t think I’d make it here. I didn’t imagine being able to open my eyes past the age of 18,” Angela admits. That changed at a life skills workshop where she met Shanina who provides college support and retention services through B:E. “The knowledge and words of wisdom and encouragement she had flipped a switch in me. It made me realize I am worth a future and I know where I want to go. I realized that B:E could actually help me.”
Last year Angela enrolled in the Peralta Community Colleges to realize her dream of becoming a math teacher for pre-teens. “If I can be that one person in some kid’s life who can have an influence, I want to be that person,” Angela says. B:E assists her with financial aid applications and textbooks and even helped her secure a rolling backpack and scientific calculator. And while she credits B:E as “the only reason I am in school,” it’s her strength and determination that keep her going.
Angela finds her happy place sitting in the shade by the creek that runs next to her apartment. While this physical happy place will change soon – Angela cannot stay in her current housing past her 21st birthday – she knows she will find that new happy place both emotionally and physically. “B:E helps remind me that I do have a place in this world. They’ve proved to me that they are here for me and I will be successful in life.”