Erika’s Story

Life before CFP was difficult, jumping from foster home to foster home. Finding the right fit for me became a challenge not only in life, but with my behavioral problems as well. I never did well with foster families because I felt uncomfortable knowing they weren’t my family. I went from foster home to foster home and from temporary shelters to temporary programs.

It takes an extremely strong person to grow up in the system and turn a negative past into a positive future. I have seen so many things in my life and overcome many challenges. I told myself I would never let my background affect my future, the way it does to many. School and work became my escape from everything and that’s why I managed to focus and do so well.

When I was 16 I entered CFP’s staffed residential program in Newton. School was difficult for me because I registered late and, had to get used to the new curriculum and make new friends. I worked with an excellent group of staff members, Hanna, Dianne, Kemi & Jeanie, who believed in me. These staff members stuck by my side through thick and thin, they taught me life skills like cooking, grocery shopping, finding a job, school work and balancing a checkbook. CFP gave me work and educational opportunities. I was on a youth advisory program. I helped bring ideas to the table to help other children in the system i.e. “Foster Care Bill of Rights”. I also worked a part time job.

We always knew that after being in the Staffed Residential Program that I would move on to the Independent Living Program, which is where I am now. So far it has been a little difficult for me with roommates, but overall I love the independence. Although the program is about independence, a bit of support is provided. The continued bit of support has proven to be the best fit for me. I’m 19 years old, currently I am a freshman at Mount Ida College and I am majoring in Criminal Justice with an ultimate goal of becoming a lawyer. CFP’s support helps me achieve all this.

CFP not only means “Communities for People” but it is a place to grow, mature, and learn the necessary life skills. With staff that truly cared about their clients I managed to make it thru CFP and build great relationships with outreach workers, treatment coordinators and advocates. I have made changes, learned how to interact with people, and more importantly learned necessary life skills. Without CFP’s support I do not think I would have made it this far or met the wonderful people I have.