Foster Care Advocates

LaTonya Anderson - Foster Care Youth Advocate

My name is LaTonya Anderson and I have lived in Washington DC all of my life. I am 16 years old and I consider myself an amazing writer. I am currently working towards graduating from high school in order to attend North Carolina A&T or Spelman College in the Fall of 2017. I plan on majoring in Business and Family Law in order to make a difference and help mentor children. During my free time, I enjoy relaxing with friends and reading about politics. I also spend most of my time helping my mother with my little sister and applying to jobs that can help get me closer to my dreams.

Diamond Beauford - Foster Care Youth Advocate

I am Diamond Beauford and a peer advocate for the Young Women’s Project (YWP) in Washington D.C. I currently work on the Foster Care Campaign (FCC) team where I learn how to educate my peers about youth homelessness and their rights. I am now a senior at IDEA Public Charter School and part of the volleyball, softball and basketball team. During my free time I love doing spoken work and creative writing. After graduating from high school, I will be attending Colby-Sawyer College in the Fall and following a pre-med track to eventually become a medical doctor.

Monica Carter - Foster Care Youth Advocate

My name is Monica Carter and I am 17 years old attending Bell Multicultural High School. I am a 12th grader and will soon graduate on June 10th, 2016. I am the 5th child of 8 kids. I have 5 sisters and 2 brothers. I currently work at the Young Women’s Project where I learn to advocate for homeless and disconnected youths. Here at this job we write and present testimonies to DC councilmembers, write blogs, conduct site visits, interview our peers and overall assess youth-serving organizations and agencies. After graduating from high school, I plan to attend college in order to become a social worker. I am very passionate about helping underresourced kids who may not have the support system they need in their lives in order to become successful. My goal is to fix the system in order to help youth in all aspects of their lives.

Ashley Strange - Foster Care Youth Advocate

My name is Ashley Strange and I am currently a senior studying Communications and English at Trinity Washington University. I am an alumni of the D.C. foster care system where I spent five years after the death of my mother. Now out of foster care, I have devoted my time on finishing school and advocating for the lives of disconnected youth, which includes homeless youth, foster youth and former foster youth. I have participated in various activities in order to help create justice for both DC youth and other underserved communities. I now work at The Young Women’s Project where I conduct research and assess services from various youth serving organizations and agencies. I have attended and participated in hearings in front of city officials like Councilmember David Grosso and Councilmember Yvette Alexander. The work I have done motivates me to become a Policy Analyst. I believe that my advocacy will lead me to create great change in the world and I can’t wait to see what is to come after I graduate!

Elleny Ayano - Foster Care Youth Advocate

My name is Elleny Ayano and I am a rising senior at Bell Multicultural High School. I have managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA and will graduate in June of 2017.  After graduating from Bell I plan to attend college and major in Criminal Justice or International Studies and minor in Business Management. During my spare time I love to read books, watch movies, listen to music and hang out with friends. Currently, I work as a youth advocate for homeless and disconnected youth at the Young Women’s Project. One of my favorite things to do at YWP is blogging. I have always loved writing and my job gives me the ability to express myself while also sharing my story with peers who may have gone through the same things I have gone through. I feel like the knowledge and confidence I have gained here will help me become an expert in advocacy.

Art Brown - Foster Care Youth Advocate

I am Art Brown and I am a senior who will be graduating from Bell Multicultural High School this year!  Working at YWP has helped me to become focused and understand that there are many youth like me in the city. The rewarding part about being a youth advocate is that I am now in the position to help many young people because of the knowledge I have gained. While I am not at work, I engage in all forms of art such as music, poetry and dancing. My passion of art shows in the work that I do which is probably why I was voted most creative for the class of 2016 in my school. I am also a big fan of linguistics and history. During my free time, I love to daydream, exercise and create paintings or drawings. I hope to soon attend Delaware College of Art and Design to share my talent with the world and also inspire youth like me.

Shannon Mack - Foster Care Youth Advocate

My name is Shannon Mack and I was born and raised in DC. I recently aged out of foster care in 2014 and I am now 22. My experience in foster care was very challenging and unfortunately still impacts my life. However, working at the Young Women’s Project has provided me with the tools to create a better life for myself. During my free time, I love to listen to music and sing. Though I am not the best of singers, music gives me joy and puts a smile on my face. My position as a youth advocate has allowed me to learn so much about responsibility and advocacy, that I am now an employee at the Department of Works through DOES. My dream is to work as an environmental service worker in order to create clean and healthy communities in the city. I am getting one step closer to my dream each day!

Deshala Williams - Foster Care Youth Advocate

My name is Deshala Williams and I am a rising senior at Bell Multicultural High School.