After four years, and taking dozens of novice climbers up Mt. Shasta, I know that I have helped to impart a little beauty into those lives. And to know that beauty, calm and sense of accomplishment lives on without me makes it all worth it.
In the foster care system, it has long been recognized that to cut all aid at age 18 was to invite poor outcomes with disproportionately high numbers of foster youth experiencing homelessness, incarceration and diminished educational opportunity.
Up on stage at the Reagan Building, poised in her white dress, Amnoni described her experience, and told the crowd that she had applied for an internship at the White House. Whoops and applause rose from the hundred or more tables tightly spaced across the floor.
Sheffield's first reaction was "devastation, disappointment, depression, tragedy: any and everything that could be negative." Even if she didn't fully realize it as a pregnant teen in 2004, the prospects for her baby girl were less than optimal.
While the nation bemoans a "gridlocked" Congress and Comedy Central's Messrs. Stewart and Colbert aptly ridicule both presidential candidates for a disregard of specificity on one hand and hubris on the other, I have borne witness to a very different vision of our elected leadership.
The story of Suahmirs Rivera is one of powerlessness turned inner strength. A strength he's now using to defend 1,400 former foster youth who fear being cast into the street because of one of budget cuts.