My name is Latrice and I am a former foster youth. I was in foster care system from birth due to my biological parent’s substance abuse until I aged out of foster care at 18. Life did not come without challenges, but I have continued to persevere. Some of us in foster care may have been moved from home to home and not know from day to day if you were going to return to the same home. While others like me, stayed in only a couple foster homes. At the early age of 9 years old I lost my first foster mom, Mama Alice to sickle cell anemia. When I was moved to my second foster home, I remember asking my new foster mom, whom I called Mama Bear, if she was going to be my foster mom for a while like Mama Alice was. She reassured me that she would always be there and love and care for me. She reassured me of this many times over the years, especially on my rough days, when I would get down on myself or let something someone said get to me. I can recall many days letting other kids or people hurt my feelings and my mom would say the old saying of sticks and stones may break my bones but words may never hurt me. Mama Bear had a spin on that I carry with me to this day “You are in control of your life and feelings and only you can let someone hurt you if you allow them to, you know what and who you are.