From Foster Care, To Welfare, To PhD(book in progress)
As the youngest of six siblings, I was raised in faith based foster care and group homes in Tarrant County, Texas. Abandoned by my mother and father at two years old, separated from my siblings, reunited, separated again, having a total of thirteen placements until I aged out of care at eighteen. After graduating high school from Keller, Texas in 1982 I worked my way through Cosmetology school, and couch surfed (living from place to place) until I married at age 21. The marriage ended up in a divorce. I went through several more relationships, needing to be loved. By 32 years old I was a single mother of two boys, homeless and on welfare. There was no where to go but up from there. I had always worked but made poor decisions when it came to relationships with men. In 1997 my life changed, I started college and put my trust in God. I worked several part time jobs while obtaining my BS & MS degrees in Theatre and Sociology at Texas A&M University-Commerce. After having a third son single and committing to never abandoning my sons or place them in foster care; I persevered through several more dysfunctional relationships and obtained my PhD from Prairie View A&M University.
"Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me."
I overcame much adversity in my life. While completing my PhD I started researching foster care and the adult outcomes of this population in America and used this topic for my dissertation. Our child welfare system seems to be broken when research and statistics indicate there are higher percentages of foster care alumni that are homeless, single parents, incarcerated and on welfare than succeed or go to college. During my research I realized for the first time, I was in this category, but I REFUSE to remain one of these statistics! I strongly feel God has led my life and put me in a position of leadership to assist marginalized populations, especially foster care alumni, with my talent, mentoring and education. I will "Be A Voice"!
"Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever."
Texas A&M University - Commerce, B.S., Sociology & Theatre
Texas A&M University - Commerce, M.S., Theatre & Sociology
Prairie View A&M University, Ph.D., Juvenile Justice
National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council - Member
Foster Care Alumni of America - Tx Chapter President
PVAMU Foster Care Student Group - Co Founder, Mentor
International Student Foundation - Mentor
Hope & Healing Institute Advisement Board - Member
Texas Foster Care Coalition - Adviser
Christians In Theatre Arts - Member
Texas CASA - Board Member
Foster Club - Member
HIGHER EDUCATION Instructor and Mentor
Prairie View A&M University - 10 years; Summer Critical Thinking Instructor, Dramatic Art Director Academy for Collegiate Excellence and Student Success (ACCESS)
Videos below: Students National, State & Local Service Learning Projects
Foster Care Outcomes
Foster Care Alumni
Crossover/Dual Jurisdiction Youth
Applied Theatre Techniques