Yessica Rodriguez was born in Mexico and raised by her mother’s family. She was burdened by the pain of not having the parental love she needed and the lack of a stable home during her early years, but she believes the events of her life led her to the great place she is in today.
When she was about 13 years old, Yessica was adopted by her aunt and uncle, who moved her to the United States to live with them in the Pomona, California, area. Here, she has had much greater opportunities to grow and learn, as well as the amazing opportunity to be a role model to other kids in difficult situations.
Yessica’s aunt and uncle, besides being Yessica’s adoptive family, have been foster parents to a myriad of other children over the years. As soon as they enter her aunt and uncle’s home, she says, they immediately become part of the family.
“I hope that they can succeed as much as much as I want myself to succeed,” says Yessica.
Yessica is 17 years old now and starting to think about how she can give back in her own personal way to thank her aunt and uncle for their support and show her gratitude for all the great things that have happened in her life. She has big plans to use her creativity and her voice, with the help of dA Center for the Arts, to give foster kids the love and resources they need to succeed.
These disadvantaged kids often don’t have the same access to resources as kids in traditional families. Right now, only about 20 percent of foster children who graduate from high school enroll in college, but Yessica thinks she can help change that.
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Yessica hopes that her drive to succeed and do something great with her life will inspire her family’s foster kids and help them do something amazing with their lives as well. This girl has overcome so many challenges already, and she’s got so many beautiful plans for her future!
“While some of us find ways to overcome challenges and look for a better life, others sometimes can’t,” says Yessica. “We should all help one another and give an extra source of help to those who need it.”
In the video below, which Yessica entered in the Girls’ Voices for Change Contest in the hopes of receiving a scholarship, this courageous young lady gives a presentation on her life and the ways she is making a change for the good in our world. Check it out!
All around the world, girls like Yessica have little (or no) access to a proper education and the opportunities they need to succeed and break out of the cycle of poverty. It is so important that we do everything we can to support these young girls and help them achieve their goals!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?