I discovered my heart for helping children in need toward the end of high school. It became my deepest desire that I find some kind of lifelong work where I could devote myself to helping and advocating for others, especially children. The Family Care Network became an outlet for me to exercise this desire while also learning more about foster care during the last few months of college.
My time at FCNI gave me experience with various facets of foster care, including specialty programs which support children with the highest needs. Going into my internship, I had no experience with foster care nor did I know what it entailed. But through training and hands-on experience, I soon learned a lot. I am so grateful for the FCNI staff whom I got to work with—they were eager to help me learn and quick to support me. And I really enjoyed connecting with the kids I worked with. I was constantly reminded that even the youth with the toughest shells to crack truly desire and respond to one-on-one attention and care.
My favorite experience with FCNI was working with three children whom I ended up spending the most time with in the Emergency Shelter Care Program. Due to the fact that my time with them was scheduled on Sundays, I got to spend a lot of quality time with the kids, and I grew to love putting together an itinerary for us each week. I focused on doing things that they enjoyed, as well as taking them to places in the community that they hadn’t been before. I loved experiencing new things together, and learning how to best support them and their needs. It was also really fun to have my internship include such fun playtime!
I have no idea what future career I might have, but FCNI— its staff, the youth who utilize services and the philosophy behind the organization—has gotten my wheels turning about what I am capable of doing, has given me a good foundation of knowledge and experience, and has opened my eyes to a line of work that is essential to the realm of improving the lives of those in need. I have no doubt that my time at FCNI will lead me to a very rewarding career, helping to enhance the lives of others.