Wednesday’s Child: Ali just celebrated her quinceañera and wants a family to speak Spanish with

Aug 16, 2023, 7:26 PM | Updated: 7:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Finding a loving and safe living environment is critical for children who enter foster care. It’s something 15-year-old Ali has made a priority this year.

“I’m looking forward to getting adopted soon, and having a great family,” said Ali.

In this week’s Wednesday’s Child, in partnership with Raise the Future, Ali opened up about her hopes for the future while visiting Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

“I want to be a nice person, I want to be an (animal) doctor,” she said.

While visiting the zoo, Ali got to experience what it’s like to care for animals both big and small, she fed the monkeys and a pair of giraffes.

“Oh wow, she’s a grabber,” said Ali, as a monkey pulled leafy greens from her hands.

Experiences like the one at the zoo are meaningful to Ali, who has lived in foster care for four years. She wants to find a family to continue having experiences like this one with.

“She wants a family of her own, she wants to be adopted by a Hispanic family,” said Lori Chapman, Ali’s DCFS case worker.

“My dad and mom taught me a lot of Spanish, and I learned English in school,” said Ali. “I’m kind of losing my Spanish because I’m not speaking it a lot, so I just hope I can get my language, or get used to speaking it a lot.”

Ali recently celebrated her quinceañera, and when she thinks about that day it’s also filled with good memories.

“The dress was so heavy, I was sweating a lot,” she laughs. “I felt so amazing, it was really fun, it was amazing, I had a beautiful cake,” she continued.

Ali now wants to build on those memories with people who will love and guide her.

“It’s important to me, just to have a great family that’s going to support me through my life,” she said.

Along with animals, Ali also enjoys school and she’s looking forward to the new school year. She also loves being outdoors and hanging out with friends.

“The thing that makes me happy [is] every time I go out with friends. People make me happy.”

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Wednesday’s Child: Ali just celebrated her quinceañera and wants a family to speak Spanish with