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Cleo’s story

I was 8 years old when I entered into foster care.  I was beaten and neglected by my grandmother at the age of 8 therefore I was taken out of a class I truly loved, which was reading, and given over to foster care and taken to S. (name removed) Residential Group Homes with my youngest brother R. (name removed for privacy) who at the time was 5 years of age.

By April 2014 I was incarcerated at Adobe Mountain School. Adobe Mountain School is a facility that rehabilitates incarcerated youth under the age of 18. On April 1st I was brought up into the administration office which is not unusual -- that was the area of discipline besides separation.  When I got up there I spoke to the administrator of the facility, and he told me what will be happening in the near future. Seems like precisely what is now coming exactly true. He told me that I'll be facing trials, difficulties coping, peer pressure, etcetera.  This is exactly what happened! I was faced with freedom which I never had before in the foster care system in the group homes I was in for approximately 10 years.   Freedom may not seem a big problem when it comes to other young adult growing out of their parents’ home, but to young adults who are aging out of a group home, or a foster home, who never had freedom to make decisions and to overcome the peer pressure of the youth in society, it can be detrimental to a young adult’s first few years of freedom.  

It is vital to the young man's life, or young woman's life, to have two parents.  Prior to being released from the Adobe Mountain School a few years earlier, maybe 2015, I met a woman named Erin.  At the time she may have seemed like an ordinary caseworker who had a job and maybe had some love for children in her heart.  But upon aging out I figured out quickly that Erin had the most best end experience to guide me to a sense of refuge from my freedom. Although I know now, but then I didn't, I had become heavily influenced by street gangs rap music in a life I never lived and I was sent back to jail for crimes I had committed within one or two years.  Since then Erin has come back into my life and has heavily influenced me to go to school and now I am becoming an EMT at 23.   I am attending Church on a daily basis.

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