Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – The Future Generation

Name: Rachel Weyandt
From: Lino Lakes, Minnesota
Grade: 11
School: Home School
Votes: 0

The Future Generation

I have always loved volunteering, and I am an active volunteer at least
a few hours every week. My specific focus, however, is on foster care
and adoption. My family has been fostering children for six years,
and I have two adopted sisters. I find myself as one of the children
in my family who targets my attention in helping with my sisters or
foster siblings throughout the day. I want to make even more of a
difference, though.

When foster children come into a home, they are ripped away from their
families. They have little to no belongings, and they feel lost and
scared. I have personally witnessed this as I have had 27 foster
siblings. I started “Bags of Hope” which is a project that
supplies foster children with a duffel bag filled with a homemade tie
blanket, stuffed animal, and other personal necessities. This helps
them realize that they are now in a safe place, and they have
something soft to heal the hardships they have had to face. It does
not stop there, though. A foster family is more than the foster
children. I have spoken to groups about my personal story of how
having foster siblings has impacted my life. I share with others the
hardships and the happiness that comes with foster care.

My biggest challenge as a volunteer is maintaining motivation. Sometimes
I would rather focus on myself than others, but I quickly realize the
happiness that comes with helping others when I see my sisters. They
are the people that give me the most satisfaction when it comes to
realizing what beauty foster care can bring. As I have been
volunteering, I have realized just how much I love to help other
people. It is so easy just to make a difference in one small area of
one person’s life. Whether it be giving a child a stuffed animal to
sleep with as the hard transition into a foster home is taking place
or giving potential foster parents words of wisdom and hope for the
future, I have realized I want to help make a change.

My career goals, psychiatry, law, or social work all stem from foster
care. I have learned so much about mental health, been in court many
times, and have met so many amazing social workers throughout the
journey my family has been on. I cannot take any of these experiences
for granted, and I know it is in my future to continue making a

Foster children need to be taken care of in order to have a successful
world. These children are the future generation, and by having the
best care, they will be able to be great members of society. By
changing the cycle of mistreatment, we will be able to have a greater
country in general. In ten, twenty, or thirty years, the care and the
guidance given to these children will be apparent. Together, we can
impact the world’s future.

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".