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This former foster youth has something to say

August 3, 2018
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Two stories capture the struggles of life after a youth leaves care.

Youth such as Jasmine Edwards have to confront stereotypes after they leave foster care. | Illustration by Zach Williams

Youths in foster care have to battle many stereotypes, as one particular young woman told NYN Media through a series of stories. Jasmine Edwards entered the system as a teenager and has since received her bachelor’s degree from Farmingdale State College. Along the way, there were numerous people who distinguished themselves in her eyes by their assumptions of foster care.

Here is where Edwards explains how a visit to a gynecologist revealed a medical professional who didn’t know what he was talking about. “Wow, I wouldn’t have guessed,” he said when the topic of her being in care came up at an appointment. “What does that mean?” asked Edwards and a nurse together. It’s a great example of what not to say to a youth who was formerly in care, she says.


 
Then there was the time that a classmate at college told her how lucky she was to have been in foster care because of the free tuition, forcing Edwards to explain how she “may not have paid in cash, but she paid in emotion,” like the trauma of not being able to call upon her mother in times of need.


 
Taken together, these short reminiscences from Edwards reveal a side of foster care that is easy to overlook: dealing with repercussions from the experience in the years that follow.

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