Finding Family in High School

Marquis Williams

"Growing up in foster care, I just remember feeling like a number. Education took a back burner. When I eventually moved back in with my grandmother right in time for high school, 9th grade, my school in South Central got taken over. I went to a new college prep school and that's when everything changed. I didn't even think I would make it past my first year but my teachers pushed me to follow my dreams. They gave me a second chance to redeem myself. I just made a promise to myself to keep going." - Marquis Williams

When Marquis found a welcoming culture of consistent family and education within his new college prep high school, he made a promise to himself to keep going and graduate. His teachers, mentors, peers and grandmother encouraged him to pursue college. Marquis translated his turbulent foster care experience into educational lessons and graduated from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with honors! Today Marquis is a public speaker and the author of a new book called Beating The System: My Life In Foster Care”.

Watch this video from The Storyboard Project to hear what’s next for this resilient young man.

Learn More About the Challenges Facing Foster Youth

There are many challenges youth face in navigating the foster care system, from experiencing multiple home placements to school changes to mental health issues to lack of financial stability, and more. These young people live in temporary housing provided by the state or are cared for by relatives or unrelated foster parents. Sometimes they are even placed in other residential facilities like group homes. Through of all of, many experience endless frustration with a system that feels unmanageable. However, today a growing number of support systems exist to help young people who are in or leaving care–such as the resources Marquis was fortunate to receive. To find out more about the resources available, Learn page.

Why Not You?

It only takes one caring adult to make a difference in the life of a foster youth. Find out how you can get involved at

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