Former Foster Youth Becomes an Advocate

It is not uncommon, but still it’s impressive: Former foster care youth often dedicate their lives as adults to supporting and advocating for children who have faced similar trauma.

Earlier this week, the San Antonio Express-News featured a remarkable adult who grew up in foster care. Krizia Ramirez Franklin, who spent most of her childhood in foster care in Texas and other states after her mother struggled with substance abuse and her father was in and out of her life.

“For the past 13 years, Franklin has spoken about her years in foster care, a moving story of sacrifice and resiliency, at state and national forums,” the article says. “As a member of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Council, she has toured shelters to see services provided to foster youth and represented Texas with the National Youth in Transition Database in Washington, D.C. . . .And she’s a volunteer program coordinator for LIFE, an extension of the Cultivating Learning In Middle School and Beyond program in partnership with BCFES, a pre-college initiative. CLIMB is a partner of Family Tapestry, which is a division of The Children’s Shelter that provides community-based care for children removed from their homes by Child Protective Services.”

Franklin lived in a number of foster homes as a youth and was determined to succeed. Ultimately, her final foster family provided her the support and encouragement she needed, often driving her to local colleges so she could earn credit while still in high school. Franklin went on to earn two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Today, in addition to her volunteer activities, she is a student care advocate at San Antonio College. She’s also a mother.

This remarkable story is certainly worth a read. It’s a reminder not only of the traumatic circumstances that foster youth face before they come into the system, but also of the fact that these youth often persevere through struggles and go on to reach their personal goals — all while giving back to the next generation. It’s also a reminder of the profound difference that a loving foster family and a mission-driven organization can make in a child’s life.

We are fortunate in Texas that there are so many individuals, organizations and supporters who are fully dedicated to the lives of children in the state’s care. And some of them, just like Krizia Ramirez Franklin, have been there themselves.