b"From Foster Care to a Master's Degree: Davids Story The research is clear: only 3% of childrenshe did not understand me at all, and she in foster care attend college. Given thosecertainly was not in the same position. She had odds, chances were good that David, whotwo biological parents who loved and provided was in foster care starting at age 8, wouldher support and she had never been in foster be among the 97 percent who did notcare. This and numerous other experiences attend. The odds of David going to collegereinforced his feeling of being alone and not increased when he was adopted by Johnseen. David soon fell into bad habits and self-and Jen at age 14, through Barkers Projectdestructive behavior that led to him being Wait No Longer, and he expressed interestput on disciplinary probation. Not long after, and determination to pursue his educationJen went to campus and ensured he was beyond high school.enrolled in intensive treatment. Even with the Recently, Davids parents contacted Barkerdisciplinary probation and emotional issues, I with a lovely note proudly noting that Davidstill had John and Jen who continued to believe had graduated with a master's degree inand support me. legal studies from Texas State University.This treatment and support led to David We connected with David to hear his storyhaving a renewed sense of hope, the drive to of how he moved from foster care at age 14remain healthy, and the inspiration to start into a stable, secure, and thriving adulthood,volunteer work with a student-run foster care including this recent and statistically unlikelyalumni group. There he found a supportive accomplishment of earning a masters degree.community where he could speak openly about David has worked long and hard for hishis experience in foster care. David stayed success. Prior to his adoption, he was in aengaged throughout the rest of college, and deep, dark hole, having been abused andbelieves that the experience and community neglected at home. He did not trust adults. Hehad a profound impact on him, and helped to was angry, traumatized, and had little hope.set him up for success in education and in life.According to David, his move to his new family was a rough transition, moving from a trailer park to a house with pool in the back yard. Yet his move to a permanent adoptive family was the start of a new chapter. At 18, David was accepted and began his undergraduate degree at the University of Iowas competitive and internationally known creative writing program. Although determined, David struggled during his first year of college. He felt isolated and quickly realized that his peers could not relate to his experience as a former foster youth. Among many uncomfortable situations, he recalls when another student said to him, Youre in the same position as I am, noting she once met someone who was adopted. While she may have meant well, David says David at graduation for his Masters degree18BARKER ADOPTION FOUNDATION"