Adolescence is full of challenges, from friendships, to school to figuring out who you want to grow up to be.
For young people in Foster Care, the added challenge of a new home and experiences can be difficult in an already ever-evolving time in their lives.
One young woman, who understands what this experience feels like firsthand, is hoping to make a difference through a Better Futures Barwon Community Connections initiative.
Katie, aged 19, was in Foster Care from age 15-18. She has organised a fundraiser to support children and young people in care in Geelong.
The concept to The Walk To Empower is simple, walk as much as you can throughout the month of November and if you can, donate to children and young people in care.
Katie herself is going to walk every day in November, and document her journey on social media. She explained that she chose walking as she wanted an activity also tied to wellbeing.
Walking is something Katie has done for her mental health for many years, including during the years she was in Foster Care.
“Walking can really help,” Katie said. “You can set your own distance, you can walk alone, walk with other people or get your pets involved.”
All funds raised through The Walk To Empowerment will go towards experiences and support for children and young people in Foster Care through Meli.
“Going through the things I’ve gone through, it really pushed me to think that I don’t want other people to feel the same way,” she said.
“I really just want to be able to help, even if it’s just for one person.”
Katie said she is now doing really well. She has moved into her first apartment and is working part time, accomplishing a sense of independence.
However, it is her passion for helping others that gives her the biggest sense of purpose.
“If you are having a hard time, it’s okay to take a minute to say ‘I’m not okay’,” she said.
“Go to a friend, to any person in your life or a profession to say ‘hey, I’m really struggling, I need help.’ It’s not wrong to ask for help, as hard as it may be.”
Donate to The Walk To Empowerment at meli.org.au/campaign/the-walk-to-empowerment/
Follow’s Katie’s journey and join in at @walktoempowerproject on Instagram.
We still urgently need more Foster Carers in our community. To find out if foster care is for you, contact Meli on 5226 8900 or visit www.meli.org.au/foster-care/