Meshay Broadnax

[(poet + advocate) x alumna] = RESILIENCE

Meshay is a poet and advocate for foster care reform. She has served on panels to educate state legislators about the impact of foster care and has encouraged the implementation of laws to improve child welfare systems. Meshay currently works at the Star View Community Center in Carson providing after school programs and activities for teens and young adults. She hopes that her art and advocacy can be an example to other foster youth of how powerful their voice can be.

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

ANSWER: There are too many foster youth who believe that no one else is going through what they are going through. This makes you feel isolated and alone in the world, which means that you don't recognize that you have a voice. As a former foster who is still striving to succeed its great to know that I can lend a helping hand to help others find their strength.

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

ANSWER: I've entered foster care when I was a teen, and there was no script or or example for me of what I needed to do to succeed and get through my experience. After a while I began to understand that that the only thing stopping me from success was me. I hope that this work and my ongoing advocacy helps change the way that foster youth see themselves so that they can be proud and make their voices heard.

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

ANSWER: Fostering Change is our voice. It creates a place where our stories have power and no one can take that away from us. As a poet I have seen how the words I speak and the stories I tell can change my mood and inspire others around me. I can only image how our collective voice will inspire the world.

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