Kellyse Hood tells her story:
"When I was six years old I was taken from my mother, publicly, by the Foster Care system of Washington D.C.
Growing up it was particularly hard for me. Many times my three sisters and I were split up into different foster and group homes and I rarely saw my mother. I went to school in well to do areas, where everyone had the mother/father household dynamic, except me. It took a lot of self motivation and help from outside sources (Upward Bound, Project 2000, and college prep programs) to build the confidence that growing up without parents slowly diminished.I went through an array of social workers, group homes, but I never had foster parents.During that time of my life I always felt as though I was waiting for something spectacular to happen. In 2004 my aunt adopted my sisters and me. I was finally no longer a ward of the state.
School was always my passion, I struggled in a few areas; however, it was clear to everyone that I was very bright. I had a deep-running passion for education. I used it as an outlet to feel "normal." During my senior year of high school I was announced as my senior class' Valedictorian and also awarded a full scholarship to Northeastern University in Boston, MA. I'm graduating this Spring with a BA in Organizational Communication. My first co-op was with Northeastern's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program. I'm currently in Melbourne, Australia on coop for Northeastern's "N.U.in program" as an International Student Adviser. I'm also in the midst of applying for many graduate school programs.
I am a product of the foster care system. I am a living testimony that your circumstances do not make you, but you make your circumstances. I am the end result of dedication, motivation, and unbreakable dreams."