One foster youth used her entry into a holiday decorating contest to honor equality
In late December, the nonprofit iFoster hosted its inaugural Great iFoster Bake Off, a national Zoom-hosted competition where foster youth and caregivers teamed up to decorate holiday houses made out of Pop Tarts. More than 800 foster youth around the country participated, and Imprint Senior Editor John Kelly was honored to serve as a judge for the first of many awards given out to the best houses.
The winner of the “Day Of” award went to Diamond, who blew everyone away with her “Safe House,” a stunning tribute to human rights. We asked Diamond to share some thoughts on how she came up with the idea for her Pop Tart masterpiece.
A former foster youth told me about the iFoster Bake Off and suggested that I sign up for it. I signed up because I wanted to challenge myself and do something different. I have never made a Pop Tart house before, so I said, “why not participate?”
Safe House is about forming unity and representing the groups in society that have suffered from abuse, pain, oppression and many other challenges. In front of the house, the words “All Are Welcome” are written. This statement represents rights for immigrants. Originally, I wanted to put, “No human is illegal,” but I didn’t have enough room.
On the top left of the house, I wrote, “Black Lives Matter.” As a Black woman in America I have suffered from discrimination, bias opinions and hate. Too many of my people have suffered worse – CBS News recently named out the 164 people who were killed by police from January to August of 2020. On the left side of the house just below the Black Lives Matter statement is the survivors symbol.
On the top right of the house is a layer of different colors representing pride. I identify as pan-sexual and I have got a lot of heat for it. Some individuals hate to see it, but that’s a part of me. Even though the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way, people are still dying for being who they are.
Finally, in back of the house is a blue ribbon symbol for foster care awareness. As a former foster youth this symbol represents my passion to help other foster youth like myself. I want to have my own nonprofit organization one day that will provide resources such as, housing, jobs, education and skills for former foster youth. I started TheElevenShop.com to help fund my mission – it’s a spiritual shop that sells holistic and self-care products.
Safe House represents my heart and I am a place that makes others feel safe no matter where they come from. The house fell twice during the iFoster Bake Off, but I kept going.