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Digital stories show life in foster care

Port Saint Lucie – Janice Goldsberry lost more than her family when she entered foster care. She lost her self-identify.

“Children in care move through so many homes, so many schools and are constantly worrying about all the movement around them, they never truly get a chance to know themselves,” said Goldsberry, 22, a local chapter member of Florida Youth SHINE, a statewide advocacy organization under Florida’s Children First of teens and young adults in foster care who advocate for change in the child-welfare system.

Goldsberry, who is also a participant in Devereux CBC’s Road to Success program, was one of 10 young people chosen to participate in a digital storytelling project called Our Voices, Our Stories. The 10-video series was created by Youth SHINE to help amplify the collective voice of children in foster care and to educate others about children in the child-welfare system.
Participants wrote, edited and helped produce their own videos.

The project launched January 20 with the release of its first video and features experiences that are common among children in foster care, like being separated from siblings, loss of identity or self-esteem and feelings of instability.

“These stories were not messaged or made by professionals,” said Geori Berman, Youth SHINE coordinator. “They are the real experiences of real children who were involved in the system. These are their truths.”

Goldsberry’s story will run February 17 and can be viewed at the www.floridaschildrenfirst.org. New stories will be released every Wednesday, with the final story running March 23.

“My digital story is about losing your self-identity,” Goldsberry said. “I was in care for 11 years, I went to five elementary schools, eight middle schools and three high schools. I lived in at least 15 different homes, and the whole time I was worried about my sister, worried about a new school, worried about what my foster parent thought of me, worried about when I was going to move again.

“It’s hard to figure out who you are when your world keeps changing.”

In the video, Janice tells her story of self-loss against the haunting melody of a song she wrote when she was 16. Called Walking By, the song describes a need as obvious as a sign on the street but as unreachable as a cloud in the sky – and as ignored as a stranger walking by.

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February 3, 2016

Contact: Christina Kaiser
(772) 528-0362