Wednesday Child: Kila wants to help other foster kids when she grows up
SALT LAKE CITY – No service can replace the stability of a family, which is why finding a forever home is critical for children living in foster care.
In this week’s Wednesday’s Child, in partnership with Raise the Future, we introduce you to Kila, a young woman who hopes to help other children living in foster care someday.
“I want to be a caseworker,” said Kila while visiting Utah’s Hogle Zoo. “I think my experience in foster care can help other people, and so I think that’s what I really want to do.”
“Kila is the biggest advocate for both herself and others. She knows what she deserves, and will fight for herself, and for others,” said Rylee Evans, Kila’s Youth Connections Advocate with Raise the Future.
Kila has lived in foster care since she was 12-year-old. She currently lives with her foster family.
“It’s been really hard, actually. Growing up without my mom in my life has been hard. I loved my siblings, and when we got split up, it took a mental toll on me for a while. It still does sometimes.”
Kila said she’d spent years in therapy learning to cope with feelings of neglect and loss. She now turns to reading and music.
“Sometimes I just think of the happy moments that we had, and sometimes that helps. Recently I’ve been listening to all our favorite songs we listened to, and that helps. That makes me feel like I’m not alone.”
Kila recently graduated from high school and is now making plans for her future.
“She set a goal to graduate high school early and worked extremely hard constantly through weekends, late nights, early mornings, and summers to accomplish this,” said Evans.
Kila was planning to attend college but recently decided she would take a gap year.
“I’m just kind of figuring out what I want in life.”
17 is a difficult age for many children living in foster care. It’s approaching the age when many kids start thinking about aging out. She worries that a family may not want to adopt a child her age.
“Some families want younger kids and not older.”
“Family is so important to Kila,” said Evans. “She desperately wants a connection with bio family and fights for this.”
Kila hopes by sharing her story, a family will be willing to give her a chance. She believes every kid, no matter their age deserves a loving and supportive family.
“Someone that loves you unconditionally and doesn’t care if you make a mistake and hold it against you, they just love you no matter what you do,”
To learn more about Kila, please contact Raise the Future at 801-265-0444 or visit their website.
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