Beating the Odds

Last week the fifth of five Family & Youth Initiative high school seniors graduated from high school. Only one of the five attended the same high school for all four years. Two of them attended five high schools each.

Bouncing between schools is an important reason but just one of the reasons children in foster care graduate high school at a much lower rate than their non-foster care peers.

Another significant reason is the mixed message so many children in care get about their potential. If multiple people disparage your abilities it would be hard not to internalize some of that negativity.

Think about the difference it would make to your self-esteem to grow up surrounded by adults who support and praise your accomplishments versus those who ignore or belittle what you do.

For some teens in care graduating high school is a major and not entirely expected accomplishment. Yet even getting that diploma does not wipe out a lack of belief in themselves.

We know we cannot change internal beliefs for DCFYI teens but we can provide support, cheer their accomplishments, and continue to tell them we believe in them and their abilities. This is one step in helping them build self-esteem and then accomplish goals as they come to believe they are fully capable of doing so.

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