Continuing with our Aim Higher fellow blogs, below is a touching and personal piece from Rebecca James. Rebecca is interning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and helping create television segments for Wednesday’s Child. More than 700 children have found permanent loving families after being featured on the Wednesday’s Child television program. And who better to help create the program than one of our very own former foster youth! Rebecca’s story is below.
Having the chance to be a part of Foster Care to Success’ (FC2S) Aim Higher fellowship program has been a wonderful experience. I’ve had the opportunity to build a multitude of lasting relationships, especially with other fellows who were formerly in foster care like me.
As a student majoring in graphic design, I was very uncertain of what I should expect from the fellowship. I was confident that I would take away life experience from the placement, but am amazed at how much actual career experience I am getting as well! FC2S placed me in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) in the Child Welfare Department. They needed me to design graphic elements for the organization, attend meetings and conferences, operate phone interactions with potential foster and adoptive families, and help with Wednesday’s Child video shoots – a project that I’ve absolutely loved working on…
Working with child welfare has been rewarding not only because I can relate to it, but also because I’ve adopted a whole new perspective. I have more hope when I see all the people that care about the outcome of a child they have only encountered for a short period of time. Being a child myself in the foster care system, I had no idea of the amount of commitment and care all the strangers around me had invested. Working at COG, I get to witness all the wonderful, loving people that dedicate their life work to bettering the lives of children.
Wednesday’s Child is an outstanding program that embodies this commitment to foster youth. I would love to see it expand. They team up with the NBC4 News television team here in Washington, DC to feature a child in need of a family every Wednesday (airing again on Thursday and Sunday). COG acts as the intermediate with the social workers and the prospective families (who see the child on television). I’ve had the pleasure to hear families say: “When I saw that little girl on TV, I was inspired and fell in love with her. I pray that she can be my child”. Wednesday’s Child recognizes that everyone deserves a family, everyone deserves someone to love them, and everyone deserves a voice.
You see, being in foster care has motivated me to succeed in life, whatever the challenge may be. And I’m proud to use my past to help other children and youth that have gone through similar experiences. On the other hand, I often forget I had a different childhood from most of my friends and forget how those challenges shaped me. Until this fellowship, I have never had the chance to be surrounded by young adults that use their past in the same way I strive to. Because of this, the most impactful part of this program has been my interaction with the other fellows. We can learn from each other’s experiences, understand we are not alone and move forward together.
I believe everything happens for a reason and you have the power to make the best out of your situation. I have grown tremendously from my fellowship experience and I am excited for what will come next in my life.
Check out the Wednesday’s Child Segments here.