Simone Biles on How She Went from Foster Care to the Olympics

by Simone Biles

“Did you know that in the United States there are nearly 400,000 children and youth in foster care? In my mind, those are 400,000 talents waiting to be discovered. But as few as 3% of foster kids go on to earn a bachelor’s degree, compared to about 30% of the general population.

Is it possible that all of these young people have no desire to go on to higher education? Clearly not. They simply lack the support, and often the financial resources and opportunity to realize their potential.

So, I’m speaking up on their behalf to say it’s time for an education revolution. It’s time for a new model, where everyone has an opportunity to learn no matter their background.

And I want to advocate for these kids because I was a foster care kid myself. My road to success began the day my grandfather and his wife officially adopted my sister and me. My birth mother suffered from drug addiction, and when I was just three years old, my siblings and I were removed from her custody. From there, we bounced around until I was six and my grandparents made the brave move to adopt us.

Although I was young when my foster care ordeal began, I remember how it felt to be passed off and over-looked. Like nobody knew me or wanted to know me. Like my talents didn’t count, and my voice didn’t matter.”

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