Beyond Emancipation


jamisha Jamisha knows the value of having people to count on. Thanks to solid relationships with trusted adults and friends, she’s been able to rise above challenging circumstances and keep her eyes firmly on the future.

jamisha_photostrip Jamisha was in foster care nearly from birth. Unlike many foster youth who experience multiple placement changes while in care, however, she was fortunate to stay in one foster home for 12 years. Her foster mom provided her a “good home base,” Jamisha says. Things changed dramatically, however, soon after Jamisha turned 16. Her foster mom began experiencing health problems, and was not able to care for her anymore. The next couple of years were full of transitions as Jamisha moved between group homes, family members and transitional housing programs.

Jamisha looked to her support network to keep her balanced during this challenging time. Though she was not able to live with her anymore, Jamisha kept in touch with her foster mother, who remained a key source of love and guidance. She also started seeing a therapist, whom she credits with helping her get into college. She looked to her best friends for support, too.

Beyond Emancipation also helped. Jamisha says B:E helped smooth her transition into college. “B:E helped me apply to Cal State East Bay, apply for financial aid, they did a lot,” said Jamisha, “They helped me get a job, figure out what I can do… anything I need, I can just come talk to them.”

Now in her third year of college, Jamisha is studying nursing and looks forward to a career working with autistic or disabled children. “My dream is to work at Children’s Hospital. I love kids. I like how they work, and I think they’re cool.” Drawing on her own experiences, she especially hopes to teach them to cultivate strong, healthy relationships with inspiring, helpful adults.