In its 10 years serving Florida’s at-risk foster children, Florida Youth Shine has helped thousands of current and former foster children find their way – and serve as examples for other kids going through the state child welfare system. One such success story is Janice Goldsberry.
Now 22 years old, Janice was in foster care for 11 years, from the age of 7 until she “aged out” at 18. She was often separated from her two siblings, had been in 15 homes that she can recall, 11 middle and high schools, and was the victim of the emotional trauma common to foster children.
Though her feelings of emotional neglect and depression continue, Janice still is a success story.
Through “digital story telling” done in conjunction with Florida Youth Shine, Janice experienced an “amazing and very therapeutic” process. “It gave me the opportunity to be creative. It also brought purpose to my story and gave me hope that I can help other children not feel so alone because I know what they are going through.”
“I want others to know that although children may not understand why these things are happening around us, we long for someone to understand and lend us a helping hand,” she wrote about the process. “Open your heart and open your homes. Become a foster parent, understand a child’s needs even if they aren’t your own. Become a caring caseworker, therapist or volunteer. The little things that we need are caring adults and it will be so rewarding to your life.”
For more information about digital stories or to request copies of a Digital Story for use as part of a training please contact FYS Coordinator Geori Berman (firstname.lastname@example.org).