Celebrating the successes of America’s foster youth

In honor of the children and families within the foster care system, our guest blog post is brought to you by Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), one of the founding co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth. Rep. Marino is dedicated to ensuring that all children, no matter their walk of life, have the opportunity to find a loving and nurturing home — and to live their version of the American Dream.

“Each year during National Foster Care Month, I participate in the Capitol Hill Foster Youth Shadow Program. This week I was fortunate enough to spend a day with Crystal Murphy who spent nine years in Pennsylvania’s foster care system and has done great things for the foster youth community since.

“So many of our young people in foster care have enjoyed wildly successful lives like Crystal. Yet far too often, these stories are overshadowed by some of the hardships that our foster youth experience.

“The Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth is working to change that.
“My colleagues and I are dedicated to shedding light on the achievements of these individuals since leaving the foster care system. Many have gone on to serve our country as members of the military, business owners, entrepreneurs, inventors, writers, teachers, mothers and fathers.
While working with foster programs in my hometown of Williamsport, PA, I witnessed these success stories firsthand. I saw children in the system grow into caring, loving adults – many with families of their own. And this week, I was able to hear Crystal’s account of accomplishment. 
“Spending time with Crystal opened my eyes to the many different aspects of growing up in foster care. I was fortunate to hear her story – how she was adopted one month before her 10th birthday, how she worked diligently to graduate from high school and then college, and how she then returned to the foster care system as a Permanency Support Specialist to work with individuals who struggle with mental illness.
“Her compassion and dedication are inspiring. Her story is one of fortitude and resilience. Her life is a testament to the great things our foster youth are achieving.
“More than 400,000 children are in foster care in the United States. It is our duty to make sure the young people in this system are afforded every opportunity to find their forever family and grow up in a loving and nurturing home. I will continue to act as a voice for young people like Crystal and make sure her success and the successes of foster youth all across the United States are recognized.”

– Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA)