In this video, Angela speaks at the 2018 NASPA Annual Conference on her experience going From Foster Care to College: Finding a Family on Campus. She shares recommendations for how higher education and student affairs practitioners can improve support for students with experience in foster care and closes with a poem she wrote on the complexities of foster care experience.
I Am From
By Angela Hoffman
I am from temporary homes.
I am from trailer parks and bottles wrapped in paper bags.
Yet somehow I’m also from landscaped suburbia and children at play.
I am from “it’s because of you” and “you did this to me.”
My mother would yell, “You’re a lesbo, you’re a slut, and you’re a son of a B.”
I am from physical illness and diseases of the mind.
Just hide your scars and pretend everything is fine.
I am from “make it look good” and say you love me.”
How I really feel is that “ I need to get out of here and I need to be free.”
I am from “tough times don’t last and tough people do.”
And count yourself lucky, ‘cause unlike some, you made it through.
I am from many families.
I am from Brandle, Wilson, Cooper, and Urbani.
The places I’ve found love, connection, and belonging are truly uncanny.
I am from bloodlines and names I’ll never take.
Friendships, loves, and mentors I’ll never forsake.
I am from a degree changes everything and you are what you achieve.
Fueling my B.S., cum laude, M.Ed. and one day I’ll be a doctor I believe.
I am from Keurig Coffee, iPhone, and iMac.
Just keep going, get through it all, there’s no time to look back.
I am from independence, achievement, and persistence.
Masking the impatience, distrust, and “you better keep your distance.”
I am from desire for competence and a sense of authenticity.
Which has me thinking what does it mean to be me and live life with vulnerability.