Having been abandoned by my parents at thirteen and spending nearly nine years living in various shelters, families, group homes or homeless, I realize how hard it is for people with such a background to become successful later on in life. Since turning 21 and being emancipated from the Social Service system, I decided to commit to helping those in need develop the skills and courage to be independent.
After graduating in 2004 I secured jobs working as teacher for adults recovering from various addictions in the city attain their high school equivalency certificates, and as a counselor for at-risk teens living in impoverished areas of the city helping them to develop work and educational competencies. I also continued to work in a local group home for boys.
With this Fulbright, I will be pursuing graduate studies in St Petersburg for 2005-06 while volunteering at local children’s shelters to assess how their structure and programs prepare the resident orphans for emancipation.