Elizabeth Gomez

[(spirituality + inner strength) x adoption = RESILIENCE

Elizabeth is the youngest member of the Fostering Change team. For years she struggled with addiction issues but has ben clean and sober since her rehabilitation in 2010. Adopted at an early age by her aunt, she never really thought of herself as having a foster care experience until she met the members of Fostering Change and saw how similar her story was to their experience. As a result, she wants to make sure that others find pride in their journey so that they don't have to take the same path that she did before they discover their inner strength.

QUESTION: Why did you get involved in the Fostering Resiliency project?

ANSWER: Coming from a family that has many mental health disabilities I made some choices brought on my struggles with addiction. Thankfully, that experience helped me discover my own strength but I hope that others don't have to take the same path in order to get there. With the Fostering Resiliency project I hope that other foster youth will begin to see that their struggle is actually their strength if they are willing to see it that way.

QUESTION: What perceptions about the foster care experience do you hope to change?

ANSWER: Growing up I always felt like an outsider because I felt other kids didn't understand what I was going through. When you're adopted or in foster care you feel like the world just doesn't understand who you really are and that's a horrible feeling. I hope that we can change this perception for future foster care youth so that they can feel like I felt when I joined this group... like suddenly you belong and everything makes sense.

QUESTION: What impact do you think Fostering Change can have on the foster care community?

ANSWER: Fostering Change is about our stories and why we are who we are. People tend to look at the statistics for foster youth and just assume that we are bad kids. With Fostering Change we can uplift the stories of foster youth and make them a place of pride instead of problems. When we accomplish this the world will have to see us for who we are, resilient kids who are making the best out of the cards we've been dealt.

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