Meet Tiniqua. Tiniqua has been in foster care for little over a year. Now that she is 18 years of age, she is enrolled in a program called Fostering Futures that allows her to stay in care with some of the same services.
Tiniqua has recently graduated from high school. She plans to enroll in her local community college and later transfer to a four year university. While she is pursuing her bachelors in counseling, she plans to obtain her license in cosmetology. In her own words, “my biggest accomplishment of all in which I’m proud of is after leaving the group home and transferring back home. I was able to return to public school. I was told that I had to start at the beginning to obtain the required credits in order to pass to the next grade. I didn’t give up and I pushed through to obtain my education within four months of time. I may not have graduated in the top 10 like I wanted but I did it”.
In Tiniqua’s free time, she reads, writes, goes on walks and her favorite thing to do of all is hair. When she is not doing any of those activities she tries her best to volunteer in her community. As well as participate in Project LIFE’s independent living workshops, the mentor program and volunteer opportunities. Through Project LIFE, Tiniqua has been able to speak to Virginia Beach Department of Social Service to advocate for other foster youth. In one word, Tiniqua describes Project LIFE as inspiring. “Project LIFE inspires you to do so much better and to never give up. They let you know that there is still hope, all the while teaching you as well.”
“One piece of advice I would give to youth in foster care is to listen, appreciate the help, and take heed into what people are trying to tell you. They are there to help you and give you guidance. It is only as bad as you make it. This experience may change your life for the better.”
Tiniqua exemplifies perseverance, heroism and we are so proud of her. Keep being an advocate for others, Tiniqua!