Special Series

Youth Voice Writing Contest 2022 Winners & Finalists

Each year, Fostering Media Connections hosts the Youth Voice Writing Contest — an opportunity for youth with experience in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems to write about their experiences. This year, writers were asked to submit essays or creative poetry describing what a world without foster care, homelessness, or the juvenile justice justice system would look like, the impact of policy on family reunification, or what safety looks like to them. These are the winners and finalists of this year’s Youth Voice Writing Contest.

Through Rose-Colored Lenses

5/16/2022

Through Rose-Colored Lenses

Youth Voice Writing Contest essay winner Jessica Castillo writes about how safety can sometimes be with a foster youth's biological family.

Safe Me

5/16/2022

Safe Me

Youth Voice Writing Contest poetry winner Marqueishia Jackson writes about what safety looks like to her.

From Pain to Perseverance

5/17/2022

From Pain to Perseverance

Youth Voice Writing Contest essay finalist Essence Thomas writes about how dance became her safe place in the midst of instability.

Safety Isn't Real

5/17/2022

Safety Isn’t Real

Youth Voice Writing Contest poetry finalist Tierra Lamore writes about how safety can be a social construct.

Look Further than the Surface

5/18/2022

Look Further Than the Surface

Youth Voice Writing Contest essay finalist "Z" writes about the ineffectiveness of the foster care system, from its origin to the present.

Knitted and Known: Roe v. Wade Decision Sparks a Call to Action

5/18/2022

A World Without Foster Care

Youth Voice Writing Contest poetry finalist Tasha Matthews writes about what a world without the foster care system would look like.

The Impact of Being Separated from my Family

5/19/2022

The Impact of Being Separated from my Family

Youth Voice Writing Contest essay finalist Esther Taylor writes about how the separation from her mother before her death affected her.

Youth Voice Writing Contest Finalist Qualyn Wilson.

5/19/2022

My Prison Experience

Youth Voice Writing Contest poetry finalist Qualyn Wilson writes about the connection between the foster care system and prison.

The Good, the Bad, Reunification, Detachment

5/23/2022

The Good, the Bad, Reunification, Detachment

Youth Voice Writing Contest essay finalist Alora Danielle Benitez writes about the negative effects of reunification with biological families.