Sofia was a quiet, guarded 15-year-old. Abused and neglected by her parents for years, she and her three siblings had moved in with an aunt after their mother went to jail and their father died of a drug overdose.
The aunt’s home was not any better for Sofia and she moved to a foster home. That’s when Diane, a ProKids CASA Volunteer, met her.
The facts were horrible. But Diane was a calming influence for Sofia. She was patient. And she understood Sofia’s difficulty with healthy relationships after the trauma in her life.
Diane saw the potential in Sofia. She was an A student, on the honor roll, and a talented saxophonist in the marching band. She got her driver’s license and a job.
And Diane made sure she got therapy so that she could make the most of her opportunities.
As Sofia became more confident, however, she began to rebel against her foster mother. While it was a healthy kind of rebellion, it strained their relationship. How could the placement stay intact through Sofia’s senior year?
Diane pulled together an unusual meeting at ProKids with herself, Sofia, the foster mother and the mentor who was helping Sofia apply for college.
By the end of the meeting, Sofia understood that disrupting her placement would not help her move forward, becoming the first person in her family to ever graduate from high school.
Sofia is in college. She wants to be a genetic counselor someday. She talks to Diane as she navigates living in a dorm and getting through her classes.
Diane says Sofia is sweet. Humble. A hard worker. And despite all the abuse, she is not bitter. She is making her life her own.
We share stories of our children so that our community can understand why ProKids depends on a mobilized community. We change the names of the children, and use stock photos out of respect for their dignity and privacy. The stories themselves, however, are true.