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Former Foster Youth Share Their 2020 Experience in Pictures

To get a glimpse of what 2020 looked like for former foster youth, we asked them to share their year in pictures. Our virtual gallery showcases some of our favorites.
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Last year was challenging in so many ways, but it held a lot of beauty and opportunities for growth for many of us, not least for former foster youths. To get a glimpse of what 2020 looked like for them, we asked them to share their year in pictures. Below is a virtual photo gallery of our favorite submissions.

Jaci

Jaci grew up in foster care from the age of 4 to 21. This photo collection, titled “Temporary Displaced,” is meant to explore what it feels like to either have no family or be barred entry to a home by one’s own family members.

A person holding bags stands in front of padlocked gate.
1/3 A person holding bags stands in front of padlocked gate. | Jaci
A person pushes one foot through a padlocked gate.
2/3 A person pushes one foot through a padlocked gate. | Jaci
A person stands in front of white plastic bags, facing a gate.
3/3 A person stands in front of white plastic bags, facing a gate. | Jaci

Dave

Although Dave has only been in Southern California for one-and-a-half years, life will never be the same. For Dave, the area has proven to be a land of opportunity to explore the idea of becoming a photographer and entrepreneur. The following photos show a few places in Southern California that Dave has particularly enjoyed visiting and exploring.

A person sits on a rock and looks down from a hill's peak.
1/5 A person sits on a rock and looks down from a hill's peak. | Dave
A sign on a fence reads "Trespassing loitering forbidden by law."
2/5 A sign on a fence reads "Trespassing loitering forbidden by law." | Dave
A cement bench faces a body of water and waterfront homes.
3/5 A cement bench faces a body of water and waterfront homes. | Dave
The view of a sandy beach underneath a tall pier.
4/5 The view of a sandy beach underneath a tall pier. | Dave
A rock formation on the beach is bathed in light.
5/5 A rock formation on the beach is bathed in light. | Dave

Ta’Hari

Ta’Hari is studying communications in Orange County and wants to specialize in public relations. In the following photo series Ta’Hari emphasizes the importance of being able to adapt to constant change.

A young person wearing a multicolored jacket stares ahead while sitting on a bench.
1/5 A young person wearing a multicolored jacket stares ahead while sitting on a bench. | Ta'Hari
A young person wearing a beige sweater poses in front of a tree.
2/5 A young person wearing a beige sweater poses in front of a tree. | Ta'Hari
A young person wearing a yellow windbreaker holds their head in their hands while posing in front of a yellow glass structure.
3/5 A young person wearing a yellow windbreaker holds their head in their hands while posing in front of a yellow glass structure. | Ta'Hari
People walking and posing in front of the "Cloud Gate" sculpture in Chicago.
4/5 People walking and posing in front of the "Cloud Gate" sculpture in Chicago. | Ta'Hari
A young person sits below a crystal sculpture hanging from the ceiling.
5/5 A young person sits below a crystal sculpture hanging from the ceiling. | Ta'Hari

Michelle

Michelle was raised in the foster care system, so having a family was never in the cards. Now, Michelle is able to create a family, something she never had, as a way to bring more love and joy to the world because “there can never be enough love.”

Two children smile as they sit next to each other.
1/4 Two children smile as they sit next to each other. | Michelle
Three smiling children cuddle together.
2/4 Three smiling children cuddle together. | Michelle
A young boy and a man watch as a little girl holds a baby.
3/4 A young boy and a man watch as a little girl holds a baby. | Michelle
A little girl smiles as she holds her arm around a younger boy.
4/4 A little girl smiles as she holds her arm around a younger boy. | Michelle

Sierra

An energetic photographer, Sierra’s photos are meant to convey beauty in all its forms. A favorite subject is the sun, especially when it sets and gives off golden light.

The sun peeks through clouds to shine on a lush, green tree.
1/5 The sun peeks through clouds to shine on a lush, green tree. | Sierra
A person watches the sunset while standing on a bike path lined by palm trees.
2/5 A person watches the sunset while standing on a bike path lined by palm trees. | Sierra
A view of a red sun setting over a hill in the distance, with a green tree in the foreground.
3/5 A view of a red sun setting over a hill in the distance, with a green tree in the foreground. | Sierra
Two decorated tents sit on a sidewalk lined with palm trees at sunset.
4/5 Two decorated tents sit on a sidewalk lined with palm trees at sunset. | Sierra
A skateboarder cruises on a beach bike path lined by palm trees during sunset.
5/5 A skateboarder cruises on a beach bike path lined by palm trees during sunset. | Sierra

Edana

A former foster youth, Edana is now 25 and the proud mother of three children. Her desire to beat the odds for her adored children drives her motivation to become an actress. These photographs represent that love for her family.

A black-and-white photo of three smiling children.
1/4 A black-and-white photo of three smiling children. | Edana
person takes a selfie while wearing a red t-shirt.
2/4 person takes a selfie while wearing a red t-shirt. | Edana
A person poses for a selfie with two smiling children.
3/4 A person poses for a selfie with two smiling children. | Sierra
A young person wearing a light blue shirt smiles for a selfie as a braid falls over their face.
4/4 A young person wearing a light blue shirt smiles for a selfie as a braid falls over their face. | Edana

Tyraughn

Despite enduring difficult times in almost 30 foster homes over 14 years, Tyraughn is happy. The following photo series is meant to show Tyraughn’s hope and joyful spirit.Ty

A young person smiles while looking to the left.
1/5 A young person smiles while looking to the left. | Tyraughn
Two young people smile on the street while one steps outside of a vehicle.
2/5 Two young people smile on the street while one steps outside of a vehicle. | Tyraughn
A group of people in a dark room smile at the camera.
3/5 A group of people in a dark room smile at the camera. | Tyraughn
A young person smiles as they wrap their arm around an older person.
4/5 A young person smiles as they wrap their arm around an older person. | Tyraughn
Two young people smile while posing for a photo on a sidewalk surrounded by a yellow rail.
5/5 Two young people smile while posing for a photo on a sidewalk surrounded by a yellow rail. | Tyraughn

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