Ashley, 17 years old, entered into foster care approximately three years ago. She came into care because she wasn’t following directions and her parents had trouble controlling her. During the three years in care thus far, Ashley has been in two different foster homes.
Similar to other youth in the foster care system, Ashley has experienced both positive and negative things while in care. One negative thing she has dealt with is bullying. Ashley said, “It has always happened in my life” and has gotten somewhat worse since entering the foster care system. Thankfully Ashley feels comfortable talking to her principal as well as her foster parents who have been able to help her. Her friend, Charnell, has also been a great support person by standing up for her and simply listening. In order to further help students dealing with bullying, Ashley would like to see schools teach relaxation techniques and also have a support group for students who have been bullied.
Ashley has also experience some positive things while being in foster care. Prior to entering into care, Ashley’s grades were low but have since gotten much better thanks to receiving the help that she needs. She also has been placed into some general education classes (rather than special education classes) which is something she is very proud of. It took some effort but once she was in the general education classes and focused more on school, it was pretty easy for her. Ashley also feels like she has matured and made several friends through school and AMP.
Being a part of AMP has not only introduced Ashley to many more friends, but has also helped improve her skills. Attending AMP meetings and events has helped her become more comfortable talking in front of groups and has also allowed her to practice telling her story. Her favorite AMP event has been their Christmas party where they went roller skating. Ashley enjoyed this because it gave her a chance to hang out with the many friends she has made through AMP.
Ashley will graduate from high school next year and plans on continuing her education. She would like to attend Iowa Central Community College and someday work with a child care program