“I went into foster care, and my progress was derailed. I was sent for “evaluation” to a group home, which turned out to be a lockdown facility. That meant body searches, room searches, monitored phone calls, only leaving the building with a chaperone, residents pulling the fire alarm at 3 a.m. to run away, frequent visits from the police, violence, and bullying. I was not allowed to contact my friends.
Being treated like a criminal was traumatizing. Not knowing when the imprisonment would end made it worse. Workers there kept telling me that there weren’t any foster homes accepting teenagers.
I couldn’t leave the facility to go to Hunter and was instead stuck for most of the time in a classroom onsite for students in grades 6-12. Usually, only six or seven kids showed up to class, which was chaotic. There wasn’t much learning going on.
In five long months I was at the facility, during which I missed a huge chunk of eighth grade, I offered to tutor the other residents of the facility. When I was at Hunter, I had received peer tutoring to help with my writing. I knew it worked…”