“I was in foster care at age 8 because my mom and her boyfriend were verbally and physically abusive to me.

I was taken to my half-sister’s dad’s family. They had my best interest in mind. I was there until age 12.

Then I went back to my mom. She had promised me a whole lot of things and a better life so I wanted to go back.

Nothing changed. She was the same.

So two years later, I ran away.

I went back into the foster system.

First they put me in the ACS building in Manhattan. I was there for a month and a half.  Then they put me in a foster home but that didn’t work out because they accused me of doing something that I didn’t do. I stayed for a couple of months.

My best friend’s mother took me in and became my foster family. I lived there from age 16 to 18, until I went to college.

I’m now a freshman at Queensborough Community College.

It’s a struggle because of the academics. Now that I have so much freedom, I can do whatever I want and then balancing academics, it’s a little hard.

I dance and I sing. I spend time with my boyfriend and friends. I travel a lot. Next month I’m going to West Virginia to see all my high school friends to catch up on life.

I have no contact with my mother. I don’t talk with her at all.

I still talk with my best friend’s mother. That’s who I consider my mother.

She got paid for it. But she never really cared for the money. She wanted to make sure I was good.

She had a husband but they got divorced in the middle of me being there.

LSSNY helped me with all of my foster care. I had a case manager. I told them about my best friend. They put that in consideration. I stayed at my best friend’s house until the process was over and it became official.

It helped me a lot. They helped me a lot. Now I’m in college and next year I could get my own apartment.

I work as well as go to college. I work at a retail clothing store. I do closing shifts so it’s fair with school.

Everybody at LSSNY works hard to make sure that I’m ok and that things are going great and they fight for me no matter what.

My and my friends had this idea of my hopping from house to house. That was literally it. Until I found somewhere I could stay.

I’m trying therapy again. Depression and eating disorders are creeping up on me.

There’s a lot that goes through people’s minds. I literally starved myself because I was bullied but then I realized that it didn’t matter if I was fat or skinny. I was still getting bullied no matter what my body was like. I’m in college, I’m alone. I don’t have my mom here. If I don’t have money to eat out, I don’t eat at all. I’m getting better. I’m making friends outside my dorm. They literally bring me food to eat. At the end of the day, bigger people get bullied but so do skinny people. It’s too much. Whatever/however your body is…is how your body is.”

Since 1976, LSSNY has handled a caseload of 144 children sheltered in safe, nurturing foster care or adoptive homes.

Please consider an end-of-year donation to LSSNY so we can continue to serve all those who depend on our programs.