One day, a traveler came across three stonecutters working in a quarry. Each was busy cutting a block of stone. Interested to find out what they were working on, he asked each man, one by one, what he was doing.
- The first man said, “I’m earning my pay: we have to get a certain number by end of day.”
- The second man said, “I’m the best stonecutter here; I’m faster and better than others.”
- The third man looked up at the sky with vision and purpose, and said,“I’m building a cathedral.”
What’s Your Stone in the Wall?
During the July 2012 Ohio Youth Advisory Board meeting, participating youth filled out template with their personal vision for making a difference.
Here are some of their responses...
- "Never forget: "Nothing about us without us" ~ Jackie W. (ally of the foster care movement)
- "Form a partnership with youth and see them as a resource and learn from them!" ~ Rebecca H. (ally of the foster care movement)
- "Empower youth to develop their skills and get more involved in child welfare. My vision is to have younger youth getting involved so that they can advocate and become well-rounded about the system, so that they can build on the difference we made and make even more and even better changes than we did." ~ Active youth advisory board member
- "To teach children how to dance and also become a social worker. Make sure that all children I encounter have a dream and will never be afraid to follow it, because everyone is important no matter what their dreams are." ~ John D.
- "To change the outlook of foster care by showing that everyone has a path to walk down with a choice." ~ Katelen B.
- "Break the status quo, and make the transition from foster care to adulthood as easy and fair as possible. Empower youth to share their voices with boldness. Change the outlook that society has on foster care. We are not where we came from -- we are where we are going!" ~ unsigned
- "Have a plan for all kids coming into foster care so that they will not have to go through what I went through. I want foster youth who have been through the system to step up and make a change for other youth in the system. Because as the vision says, us foster youth can and will make a difference." ~ Latrelle S.
- "I want to be a lawyer so that I can help other foster children find a good home to live in." ~ Terry K.
- "Help all youth find a home with trust by telling adoptive parents that no one is perfect, they just need to be a friend to foster youth in need." ~ Alexander F.
- "To be the best father I can be" (breaking the cycle of foster care) ~ Cory G.
- "Use my story to put myself in people's shoes." ~ Javon J.
- "Talk to kids that are in the system and try to give them advice in how to deal with certain things and people and how to get to where they want to be in life." ~ Michaela B.
- "Give other youth a voice and opportunities to speak out." ~ Destiny W.
- "To change the opinions and view of the foster care system, and help people understand what it is really like" ~ Victoria W.
- "To be a leader and lead by example." ~ Lisa H.
- "Help others continue to better themselves and never give up, just like I will never give up. My vision is to be a foster care alumni that everyone remembers because they would see that I tried and worked to make a difference for youth in foster care." ~ Dominique J.
- "To make a difference in others' lives and help others who need help." ~ Kaytie R.
- "Be a mother for those who do not have a mother (when I am older)." ~ Kia W.
- "Changing school policies that penalize foster kids when they move from one home to another by not allowing them to continue to participate in team sports" ~ Zachary M.
- "Help foster parents and social workers better serve youth." ~ Thora George
- "Normalizing foster care. Closing the gap between regular teens and foster teens." ~ Alegha P.
- "Change the way things are and the way they have to be. Create a lifestyle of foster care, not a system." ~ Adrian M.
- "Encourage others to be more understanding. Impact children all over the world greatly. Help others help themselves." ~ Brianna C.
- "To go to college for Criminal Justice, minoring in Music Education. I also plan to start a nonprofit business for underprivileged youth, both in and out of foster care. I hope to mentor youth who have no stable mentor in their lives." ~ Vinney M.
- "Help myself in order to help others. Talk to other youth and engage them. Go to college and pursue my career. Gain knowledge and progress. Grow!!!" ~ Michael B.
- "Maker sure every youth in Ohio hears my story and can be encouraged by it. Also, so they can have faith to move on with their life through any trials." ~ De'Stanie W.
- "Show people that I can change my life and show that I'm not going to be a lifer." - H. C.
- "Gain in knowledge and process, and grow. Keep in touch with all the connections I made and keep networking with the YAB and other groups even after I age out" ~ Dominique J.