Beyond Emancipation


Mori_with_Kids-small During her New Beginnings fellowship at the Alameda County Social Services Agency office in Hayward, Mori developed her career goal.

“I loved that job, and I met a lot of amazing people– lawyers, judges, social workers,” says Mori, who plans to go back to school to take classes in social work. “That’s the career I’m working toward. I want to give back.”

Her supervisor encouraged her to apply for a permanent position when one opens up, and in the meantime, Mori enjoys working at Safeway in a clerk position she got after gaining experience through B:E’s Fresh Start program.

With three daughters under the age of seven and a five-to-midnight shift at Safeway, Mori doesn’t get a lot of quiet moments to herself. Still, she finds time to pursue her love of writing, keeping a journal and writing poetry as often as she can. “That’s something that’s stuck with me always,” she says.

Mori appreciates the support that B:E has provided to her over the years, especially since both of her relative foster parents, with whom she was close, have passed away. “B:E has given me a big helping hand,” she says. “Since I didn’t have biological parents to help me, I didn’t think I’d be able to move into my own place since the rent is so high.”

B:E connected Mori to the Family Unification Program (FUP) after she struggled to find housing when she was 19. After completing the FUP program, she was able to stabilize her housing on her own, and now has an apartment for herself and her daughters in Alameda.

After her second daughter was born, Mori found the B:E parenting workshops very helpful, and appreciated the fact that B:E provided child care during each workshop so the young parents could concentrate on the class. “I got to express myself the way I really wanted to,” Mori says. “And I met other people going through the same things with their kids, just at different stages.”

When she has a chance, this busy mom likes to take her daughters Alyece, Aubri, and Audrina on special outings like those her relative foster parents took her on—a current favorite is Pier 39, where the girls love to ride the carousel.

Asked what advice she would give to a young person in foster care, Mori says: “Don’t make your circumstances the reason why you don’t succeed because no matter where you come from, it’s up to you which path you choose.”