Junely became a mom at 15. She and her son grew up in the foster care system. In this poignant piece, she talks about her transformation from “lost girl” to teen parent to scholar and advocate for young mothers. Junely’s film is one of the films in the Youth Voices Video Project, a collection of foster youth-produced films from PBS SoCal’s To Foster Change.
Junely spent 5 years in California’s foster care system. At 15, she entered care as a teen mom. In many of her placements, she experienced abuse, neglect, and a lack of assistance and guidance. Even with the odds against her, Junely found her way to prevail. She has been able to take advantage of the California Supervised Independent Living Program and secure stability for her family. Although being a single parent has made it difficult for her to pursue her education, she is currently enrolled in California State University Fullerton working towards a degree in social work. Junely is an advocate, fighting to improve foster care for teenage mothers.