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Local youth advocate honored at statewide reception

Fort Pierce - Local youth advocate Janice Goldsberry was recognized this week during a ceremony honoring young people who work on behalf of children in the foster-care system.

Florida's Children First presented its Outstanding Youth Advocate Award to Goldsberry during a reception October 28 at West Palm Beach's National Croquet Center.

She received the award for her work on behalf of children in foster care locally, statewide and, most recently, nationally.

Earlier this month, Goldsberry traveled to Washington DC with the Florida Youth SHINE advocacy group and met with US Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL.

Being acknowledged for her work is an honor, and one that motivates her to continue with her work, Goldsberry said.

"Two years ago, I wouldn't utter a word about my past; I pushed it behind me," said Goldsberry, who lived in foster care for several years as a teenager. "But throughout my advocacy journey, I got a chance to see the power in my story."

Goldsberry, who speaks regularly on panels and at events, said she's always amazed to see how stories like hers can inspire others to make a difference.

"Not only does it continue to surprise me, but it empowers and motivates me to continue to advocate and educate the community and the world."

Chris Martinez, supervisor for the Devereux CBC Road to Success Program, was present when Goldsberry received her award. Road to Success is a local program that prepares teens and young adults for life outside of foster care.

"I could not be prouder of Janice," said Martinez, who has known and worked with Goldsberry and her family since 2011.  "She's done so many things to help other children," he said. "She just steps up."

Goldsberry has also been the subject of a documentary and has participated in several local, state and national projects highlighting common experiences in foster care.

Her brother, Daniel Pettus, is a past winner of the Outstanding Youth Advocate Award.

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October 30, 2015

Contact: Christina Kaiser
(772) 528-0362