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Karina Wilson

Karina, now 18, first entered the dependency care system when she was three years old, and has been in and out of the system ever since due to a family history of substance abuse, and where she and her brother were neglected. At 15, she was again removed from her home, and has gone from multiple foster homes and group homes to a residential treatment facility, all the while battling to find a healthier way to live.  “I felt like there was some magical solution out that there that I couldn’t find.” Karina was hoping to get a young Advocate, “someone who could better understand what I was feeling.”  She was matched with Caitie age 24, who Karina said is “awesome.”  She said, “I love that she chose me, and that she volunteers to spend time with me.”  Karina speaks highly of her therapist, and respects the hard decisions that social workers have to make.  “Now that I’m older, I really appreciate the team of people around me.” Karina is now working three part-time jobs, and, with Caitie’s guidance through the enrollment process, is going to Cabrillo College.  She received a scholarship from CASA to help defray some of the costs associated with her education.  Karina is living with a family, and continues to receive support as part of AB12 (Extended Foster Care), which allows her to stay in the system until age 21.  She also volunteers every Friday in her little brother’s classroom, something she has done for three years. “Everybody wants me to be fixed,” Karina said.  “I think it’s more that I need to heal.  So that’s what I’m doing – not to please anyone else, but just for me.”

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