Here at Olive Crest, we truly believe that a safe and loving family can change the life of a child for the better. Before finding her foster family, Brittany had been homeless, was behind in school, and had little interest in her education. But with the support and stability that came with her new family, Brittany has been able to flourish and excel.
The following is a letter from Brittany, describing her journey in overcoming adversity and hardship.
I was born July 28, 1998, into a family of ten. I grew up on the streets with my mom and siblings, and I’ve never met my dad. At the age of four my mom left one of my sisters and me at a homeless shelter, and that’s when I entered the child welfare system.
My sister and I were moved around a lot and never stayed in one home. I don’t remember much of when I was young. Most of the memories I have start from when I was placed in a ch ild welfare home at the age of six. The placement seemed nice until I met the other children in the home. I got picked on, beat up and teased constantly and no one ever believed me. The foster mom thought I was crazy and had me put on six different psych medications at once. I was often tired and out of it and slept in class. No one ever listened to me and I was always told to go to my room. I was located away from everyone and I felt isolated.
I finally got fed up with the treatment I was receiving and I started to act out. Soon the family I was with got sick of it and sent me away. The only downside to that was that I was separated from my older sister. After that I was constantly moving from home to home. Some I liked and others not so much.
At the age of twelve, I came to Olive Crest and I was placed with the Horgan family. They are a nice, loving, and caring family. I’ve been with them for the past five and a half years.
Living with the Horgan family was weird at first. They were very welcoming and tried to make sure I knew I was part of their family which was new for me. I acted out a great deal and was distant in the beginning. I also isolated myself because it had become a bad habit of mine. Usually, any other family would have sent me away, but they didn’t, and still insisted I was part of the family.
I got registered in school a week after being placed in their home and my foster mom realized quickly that I had gaps in my learning. I was going into the seventh grade with second grade comprehension and vocabulary. It was hard keeping up but I tried my best. The school wasn’t as supportive as I needed them to be. My foster mom started to work with me. I wasn’t always engaged because school wasn’t one of my strong points but, she never gave up on me. In eighth grade my foster mom Marcy got me an amazing tutor. Most days after school and during summers Susan, my tutor, helped me in all subjects. My vocabulary and comprehension went up from second grade to twelfth grade. I’m now all caught up to where I’m supposed to be because of the support of the people around me. I still tutor with Susan to this very day.
High school opened up a whole new can of worms for me. But my mom was always there and she fought for what she thought was best for me. Just last week I got a scholarship from the school district regarding my achievements in school. Only one school out of the district gets the award and I was honored to receive it.
I graduated from Los Amigos this past June and I plan to go to Golden West College. I don’t know yet which career path I want to take. I plan to take all of my required classes first to give me time to think about which path for my future career I wish to take.
After junior college I might transfer to a Cal State University to further my education. I want to be able to support and take care of myself, and I know that furthering my education would be the first big step to making it happen! ~ Brittany