“I was chosen to represent The Children’s Home at the New Jersey Regional Youth Summit at Rutgers University on June 23, 2009. The summit was all about how to involve youth in their court proceedings. It was about giving youth more opportunity to participate in important legal decisions that affect our lives. I saw a lot of kids in situations like mine who needed help to have a better future. Everyone had the chance to express themselves and it was helpful to hear other kids’ stories.The main speaker and workshop leader, Stacey Patton, shared her personal story with us. She told us about her abuse and problems in foster care and adoption. Hearing stories like that makes us feel that we’re not alone in our problems and makes me feel hopeful. I went to her workshop and learned how to express myself through story and art. She autographed a book for me that says ‘never fear the power of your own voice.’”
Thomas, Age 15
Hearing stories like that makes us feel that we’re not alone in our problems and makes me feel hopeful.