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Using your voice for change.

By: Victoria Manzo

Hello, my name is Victoria and I am from Kennewick, Washington. I am 22 years old, and studying to be a social worker at Eastern Washington University. Just like many members of the Mockingbird Youth Network, I grew up in the foster care system. I was in foster care for most of my life, 18 years to be exact, but that's not what's important. Once I get a degree in social work later this year, I hope to motivate and inspire other foster youth that are living in the system. Social work and helping others has always been an interest of mine, but attending Youth Advocacy Day (YAD) reminded me that I am in the right profession, it’s a day I will never forget.

I want to share my personal experience about participating in YAD this past January. I had such a great time meeting other youth that are in the system, or who have aged out. My favorite part about YAD was hearing success stories from other youth that had aged out and gained independence, all because they had one influential person tell them they were more than just a client or case. I felt so inspired and motivated by each story. I can't wait to get out in the social work field and empower youth in such a way that they will learn to use their own voices. I also love the fact that The Mockingbird Society gives foster youth the opportunity to have their voices heard. The Mockingbird Society has planted a seed, it's my job as a future social worker to water it.

Published on March 24, 2016