Spotlight on the Foster Care Alumni Association
By Jessica Juliana Fischer-Smith
This week, I decided to focus on a cause that’s near and dear to my own heart: the foster care alumni association. When I was twelve, I was removed from my biological mother’s home after 9 years of extreme neglect and domestic violence. After this, I was placed in the foster care system and was luckily adopted by my first foster mother after my biological mother’s rights were terminated. Shortly after this point, I started receiving mail from the Foster Care Alumni Association.
The FCAA is an organization that networks between foster children and former foster children to provide them with work and internship opportunities across the U.S. One of their biggest projects is Postcards from the Soul in which foster children participating in internships produce postcards portraying their deepest emotions and varying experiences in “the system”.
This particular organization means a lot to me because of my older sister. She chose to remain in foster care rather than being adopted which made her eligible to participate in one of the FCAA’s internship programs. She spent a summer interning on Capitol Hill where she was instrumental in amending the Higher Education Act of 1965- incidentally the act that permits me to go to college despite my financial situation. Since the 2008 amendment, the law has expanded the definition of independent so that former foster children are not required to take their adoptive parents or non-existent parents into account for finances.
The internships created by the FCAA are an entryway into the lifestyle they might have had if they were born into a different socioeconomic strata. These are also only a fraction of their work. To find out more about this fantastic organization or to make a donation, go to http://www.fostercarealumni.org
If you’re looking for a charity to donate to next May, May is National Foster Care Awareness Month!