Legalized Torture: A Solitary Confinement Experience

"After just 24 hours, I testify that solitary confinement is hell on earth. Solitary confinement is legalized torture," says Anyssa Williams, a Georgia State University student who spent 24 hours in an 8 by 8 cell replica for a school assignment.


No Job, No Home, No Green Card: Crashing Into 21

“Do you know you’re an illegal immigrant?”

I was 19 when my social worker asked me this question. Shocked and confused, I said, “What do you mean?” Throughout my life, I had heard about undocumented immigrants from TV and from friends and family. I didn’t realize I was one of them.

Erica Harrigan-1-C

Preventive Services Saved My Family

I was pregnant when I aged out of foster care. My boyfriend and I wanted to have the baby, but I worried I'd always be a target for Child Protective Services (CPS) because I grew up in foster care and was mentally ill. But CPS and the mental health system ended up providing a great support system.

Art by YC-Teen

Who Will I Be As an Adult?

In all those years I was bounced around, I didn’t know where I belonged or what would happen when I aged out of care. I never had a mature role model, so I’m not sure what sort of adult I want to be.

The Point of Trust (FCYU-2015-04-05_img1)

What Do We Owe Each Other?

A teenage girl on the road to high school graduation struggles to stay connected to her birth parents while coping with their inconsistent and often abusive behavior.

I Choose Foster Care

I have been in foster care before, but this is the first time I chose to be. Before, I was ashamed to be in care because other people might think I didn’t have a mother. Now I realize it wasn’t my fault my mom abused her kids. It’s not my fault I ended up in foster care. Signing myself back into care is the best thing I can do for myself, and I’m not ashamed anymore.

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Learning What Family Is at Age 16

It’s no Disney show, but after more than 16 placements, Selena reflects on how stability and safety in a foster home help her overcome anger and aggression. “Now, two years later, it’s even better. Jenny, or Ma, as I call her now, is patient and caring. I have misbehaved and acted out, but she stands by me.”


The American Dream Delayed by Addiction

A young writer reflects on how his father’s addiction impacted his family, his growing up and his own substance use. “After everything, I didn't want to be like him. I did not want be controlled by anything.”