Tag Archives: overcoming foster care

Getting A Drivers License As A Foster Kid

  To many kids turning 16 is one of the most exciting days of their lives. With turning 16 comes getting a driver’s license. It’s the license of freedom almost every teenager looks forward to getting. Hours of driving with family members to get enough hours under the belt finally paying off. Unfortunately for many foster kids it’s harder to obtain the goal of getting that freedom. For many foster kids turning 16 does not mean getting a driver’s license.

When I was placed into foster care the summer I was getting ready to turn 16. I didn’t have my permit at that point. My parents used it against me and used it in favor of their abuse. They would talk about how all the other kids would see me riding the bus while they were driving. Pretty soon I would be the oldest on the bus. I’m sure they also used that to control from me being able to leave the house as well. They said I didn’t behave well enough to get my permit and would have to earn it. The problem was no matter what I could never do good enough to earn it.

After I settled into our foster home I was told that I would eventually be able to get my permit. I had to wait for the proper documents from my caseworker but was eventually allowed to take the permit test. I hadn’t had a chance to read the permit book yet but I decided to take the test anyway just because I was so excited. I eventually passed the permit test after having the time to study.

Just because I had my permit didn’t mean I could start practicing driving. I lived in a group home and I wasn’t allowed to drive any of the vehicles. It wasn’t a typical family situation where we had a family car. There could be up to 8 foster kids in the home and maybe foster parent bio kids so we had 15 passenger vans. I knew I had to buy a car and be able to pay for insurance if I wanted to be able drive. Finding a job as a foster kid can sometimes be pretty tough for a few reasons but I eventually found a job and started putting back money. After a lot of work and putting most of my money in savings, I found a pretty nice care that I could afford. Next came finding an insurance company. Since I was a foster kid I didn’t have a parents insurance to be added to. I had to start my own plan which I remember costing me $189 a month not including the money I had to put down! Now I had a car, insurance and a job. Still, I was not able to drive.

I had to take a driving class as one of the stipulations before driving. This was for a couple of reasons. The main reasons being it was a requirement from my group home and I needed a certain number of driving hours before being able to take the driving test. Another good reason to take a driving class is because you get a discount on your insurance. After passing the class and getting my driving hours in with the instructor, I was able to take the driving test. I was extremely anxious with having the person ride along with me watching me every move. It caused me to mess up and I failed my first time around. My second time around was a little better, but it took me a third time to pass the test. Finally I could drive!

I do want to point out that even though it took me three times to pass, I have 0 accidents and 0 tickets. I had many obstacles on my path to getting my driver’s license. Many foster kids face the same situations often facing more difficulty than I did.

Some Foster Kids That Have Gone On To Become Famous

 Foster kids are often face many tough situations in both their childhood and as an adult. Even though the statistics aren’t good it is still possible  for foster kids to succeed. Many foster kids go on to be successful adults and live to do great things. Some have even become famous if not considered one of the best in the career they chose. Even though being a foster kid is extremely hard at times, I think it’s important to know that it isn’t something that has to hold you back. Here are some famous former foster kids.

George “Babe” Ruth was placed into care at the age of 7. As a kid he found baseball as a positive outlet. As we all know he was pretty good and started being looked at by major league teams in his teens. He went on to become one of the greatest players of all time.

At the age of two Cher was placed in care when her mother became too ill to take care of her. Cher was able to return home, but her grandparents were a major part of her upbringing while her mother was struggling. Cher married Sonny at 18 and they started making hit songs in the 60’s. Cher recorded a number one album in 1999 making her the oldest female to hit the number 1 spot.

Alonzo Mourning was placed in the foster home of a family friend after a fallout with his parents after their divorce. Alonzo or “Zo” was 12 when he went to his new home and was already 6 foot tall. Mourning practiced non stop after he found the sport of basketball. He excelled in college and went on to win a NBA championship with the Miami Heat.

 

 Steve Jobs was born in a time when mothers that had babies out of wedlock were looked down upon. He was soon adopted by a couple after his birth. Steve was very bright but got into a lot of trouble, even getting expelled from school. Jobs was so smart though he was able to skip a couple of grades and became very interested in electronics. He started assembling computers in her garage and soon was changing the computer world. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Apple Computer.
 John Lennon was a foster child that grew up and helped form one of the greatest rock groups of all time named “The Beatles”. They are the only group in history to have twenty songs to reach number one. John had a rough child hood and was placed to live with other family by the foster system. Music became a large part of his life as a teen. He was also a good artist but wasn’t too good with school. He formed a band and by 1962 was in the Beatles. From 62 to 70 it was “Beatlemania”.


 Marilyn Monroe was placed in an orphanage after her mother was declared legally insane. She spent two years in the orphanage and the next four with a family friend. Marilyn had a tough childhood and struggled with not knowing her father. Marilyn Monroe lived to become one of the most famous movie stars of all time. To this day she is still beloved for her beauty, and is idolized by many stars and fans.

 At the age of five Willie Nelson and his sister were left with his grandparents by his mother. His dad was always away on work and his mother couldn’t afford the kids. His grandparents were eager to take them in. They taught the kids work ethic and treated them with the love they needed. Willie learned music for them as well. He had a short stint in the air force and continued to work on his music. In 1961 he landed a recording contract. Willies fan base grew and he has made many albums, tours and has also appeared in many movies and TV shows.

 

Dave Pelzer has lived a rough young life. You might know him as the author of the book “A Child Called It”. Dave was considered a “slave” by his mother as a child. She would play cruel games that nearly left him dead. At age 12 the school notified DFS. He went through several foster homes and continued to have trouble with the effects from his childhood. He joined the military and excelled. He has received many awards throughout his life and was even nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his first book.

 


Malcolm Little was born in a time of severe racism. His father was an activist and died a brutal death when Malcolm and his siblings were young. Several years after her husband’s death, his mother had a nervous break down and was committed, sending the kids to different foster homes. Malcolm was a smart kid, at the top of his middle school class but then dropped out due to racism. He was later arrested for several crimes and converted to Islam while serving his time. Malcolm now going by  Malcolm X became a minister to spread the word. During his journey he found comfort with other race through religion and started to preach the coming together of blacks and whites. Sadly he was gunned down by members of a group that opposed his ideas.

 

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