b'In 2022, David received his B.A. degree in creative writing, and eventually moved to Texas , the state of his birth,where he had lived in foster care, and where many painful memories were forged. While in Texas, David began communicating with his biological sisters, who were also removed from their family due to abuse. David was grateful to find a community in Texas. He began a masters degree program in legal studies and was hired at the District Attorneys office, where he worked closely with the government child protective services on foster care cases. He also beganDavids current job is as a contract specialist volunteering with foster youth in elementaryat Texass Health and Human Services school.Commission, working with Medicaid and paid contracts. He took classes in contracts David has continued his foster care work,and alternative dispute resolutions during and recently represented the state ofhis masters program. I will continue down Texas at a national conference as anthe contract path, focusing on dialogue. That advocate for foster care reform. Duringis what I enjoy the most, creating a solution his presentation, he shared data about thethrough conversation. Communication is many hardships faced by children and youthimportant and something I struggled with in foster care, including the challenges ofgrowing up. It has been a long journey completing formal education. Many studentsfiguring out how to communicate effectively from foster care have nowhere to go duringwithout all these out-of-proportion emotions college vacations, and he shared the fact thatplaying such a large role.the state covers tuition but no other financial assistance, including no support for roomWhat is next for David? He is studying for the and board.LSAT and plans to apply for law school. He thinks about opening a non-profit that would Davids experiences have led him to havefocus on supporting higher education for a unique perspective. He says it can beyouth in care. Says David, I am grateful for challenging for a lot of us who are or were inmy parents, who have been so great and very foster care to accept the resources that aresupportive of this whole process.offered and available to us. This is because from a very young age many of us feel theBarker is expanding its Project Wait No Longer need to be independent just to survive.Program. Interested in learning more? Contact I have seen a lot of us actually sabotageus if you wish to consider adopting a youth in opportunities because our experiences havecare, are open to us presenting information led us not to believe we can trust the peopleabout the program in your community, or if offering them. Yet without those resources,you would like to support the program with a it is really, really hard to graduate fromfinancial gift. college.ANNUAL REPORT 202219'