15-Year-Old Xander Makes Second Wednesday’s Child Appearance

Feb 19, 2020, 8:42 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 2:53 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Inside a small warehouse in Salt Lake City is a world cut off from the busy streets just outside the door. It’s a place where the limits of your own mind are the only thing holding you back.

On Wednesday, 15-year-old Xander got to take a step into this world, and into one of his dream roles. He hopes to be a video game designer. He got a helping hand from some of the pros.

Ascendance Gaming Center and D20Studios in Salt Lake City offers a portal to a virtual world and the excited teen got the whole place to himself.

“This is amazing,” he said with a big smile on his face. “I just really love games and virtual reality.”

For Xander, a day filled with fun is a welcome respite. The boy lives in foster care. It’s a place where every day is uncertain.

“I’ve been in foster care about eight or nine years I think,” Xander said.

For him, the real world can be tough.

“I don’t know,” he said.. “There are a lot of bullies and stuff out there.”

“They tease me and make fun of me because they think I’m fat,” he explained.

Xander said he’s moved at least 11 times and all the moving has made it hard to make friends.

“I end up really hiding my emotions,” he said. “I just try to act like everything is always okay.”

KSL TV first introduced you to Xander back in 2017 when we visited with him at a karate studio. He wanted to try out martial arts and he wanted to find a family.

“I’ve had my ups and downs you know, but I’ve been getting better,” he said.

He may be more into video games than karate these days, but he still wants a family more than ever.

“Yeah, I mean that would be awesome,” he said with a smile. “I really hope they could be nice, too.”

He’s not sure if he will grow up to be a video game designer. For now, he’s focusing on finding some friends and most importantly, finding a family.

“I think that (it) would be good if they have other kids, because then I would actually have other kids to play with and stuff,” he said.

To learn more about Xander, or the many other children living in the Utah foster care system, contact the Utah Adoption Exchange at 801-265-0444 or at

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15-Year-Old Xander Makes Second Wednesday’s Child Appearance