Video: Former foster child fosters empathy with interactive story about children who ‘age out’ of foster care


LatinaLista — The foster care system is supposed to save children from abusive or neglectful parents. The children are separated from their parents for their own well-being but too many children suffer from being in the foster care system. Former foster care child Lydia Joyner shares her story about being in the system with the online Thnkr Epiphany series.

Entering foster care at the age of 7 along with her young cousin, Joyner recounts how much luckier she was than her cousin — she made it out alive.

By the time Joyner was 18, she had lived in 35 different homes, had 18 different social workers and had her complete name changed four times. Her cousin got pregnant by a drug dealer at the age of 14, was imprisoned at the age of 15 for drugs, dropped out of school at 16 and by the time she was 18 her raped and murdered body was found under a pile of pine needles on the side of the road.

To raise awareness about her story, her cousin’s story and the stories of all those children who suffer through the foster care system and are on the verge of ‘aging out’ of the system, Joyner created a unique experience “that harnesses technology and story” titled My Sky is Falling.

Starting out as a class project at Columbia University, ‘My Sky is Falling’ physically engages audiences with Joyner’s story in the hopes of not just creating awareness of what foster care children endure but, hopefully, produce empathy from an audience normally clueless about the life of a foster care child.

“When you grow up in foster care, your life becomes fragmented like sharp glass. But we can take the shards and create kaleidoscopes that allow us to see our lives in new, beautiful, and ever changing ways. I want to lead, teach and share, making a difference for the next generation of the traumatized and abused.” ~ Lydia Joyner

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