Youth Voice


2020 Writing Contest 2nd Place: Unapologetically Connected 

I found poetry when I was in a dark space, words saved my life and gave me the ability to heal from trauma and be expressive without having to apologize to others.


2020 Writing Contest 3rd Place: Community, Acceptance, Love

I have spent most of my life as a chameleon. How can I do well in a way that makes everyone around me happy or content? To most, this is just a classic case of people pleasing; to me, it was survival.


2020 Writing Contest Honorable Mention: Unrequited Love

True love. Love without conditions. Love without judgment. Love without feeling like something is owed. Love without feeling indebted. Love without force. Love without pain. Love without suffering. Love that doesn’t suffocate.


2020 Writing Contest Honorable Mention: What Family Means to Me

Blood doesn’t make a family, but true love does. Family is more than having a mom and a dad. It is having people who care for you, show you love, think about you, and want to see you blossom.


2020 Writing Contest Honorable Mention: Home is Where the Heart Is

Home is where the heart is, in the love. And we all know that those who love you the most are your family and friends — in that order in particular.


On the Slaughter of George Floyd, and An American Eulogy

Ivory Bennett is a 29-year-old writer who spent 17 years in foster care. Bennett currently works as an English teacher and cheer coach in Dallas, Texas.

In these two pieces, one a letter to those on the frontlines of the current protest movement, and the other a poem in honor of George Floyd, Bennett shares her unique perspective on the racial strife roiling the country today.


Being Black in Foster Care Means Surviving an American Nightmare

The incident that took place in Central Park, with Christian Cooper and Amy Cooper was appalling. Christian Cooper is a Black man, Harvard graduate and avid bird watcher who asked Amy Cooper, a white woman, to leash her dog in an area of the park where it was required, and she refused.


‘Who Will Police Us from The Police?’

As a black former foster youth who spent most of my youth in Los Angeles, I have seen how police brutality and racism is a constant struggle in black people’s lives.


A Letter to Black Foster Youth

Dear Black Foster Youth,

I’m sure you all have seen the unrest and televised revolution going on across the country and worldwide. The death of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery – the last two of which were video recorded, all killed by current or ex-police – has acted as the straw that’s broken the camel’s back.