20 Stories - developing strength through a foster care experience


Imagine having your deepest and darkest secrets being shared with strangers before you even meet them. Now imagine having to rely on these strangers to help you navigate the trials of life. Your past becomes your present and determines your future. The trauma(s) become your identity.

For our youth, these traumas live in the case files that are exchanged from social worker to social worker and foster home to foster home. One young man recently asked, “How can they see my possibilities if all they ever heard about are my struggles?

At Peace4Kids we believe that these traumas are not a life sentence. While we can’t change the way child welfare services documents its cases, we CAN encourage the public to come to terms with one fact: Trauma is a common condition of the human experience.

Inspired by our youth, we have set out to share 20 stories from 20 members of our community - as a counter narrative to the enduring evidence that foster youth are predestined to fail. Many of these stories will come from former foster youth who have found their strengths and discovered specific tools to persevere.

We invite you to share these stories with your friends and networks and even chime in with your own narrative of growth and healing. By seeing this shared traumatic connection to others in their community, our youth feel less alone and can begin to discover their possibilities - to #SeeTheHero within. 

As they share their experiences, it has become apparent that the most critical time in their lives is between 18-25 yrs old. Suddenly the foster care system that once shielded them, thrusts them into a world that is unforgiving to their journey.

This year, for our 20 Year Anniversary, we are expanding programming to more deeply serve these young adults - and ask for your help in supporting this expansion through our Hero's Circle

When Peace4Kids Program Coordinator, Miriam Cortez joined our community at the age of 20, she had a vision to advance social change. As a member of the tribe, she began to embrace the ideology that some of our most painful breakdowns inspire the greatest breakthroughs.  

Miriam debuted her art and short film at the Black Umbrella Art Gallery in Garden Grove last Saturday. Her exhibit, along with pieces from other artists from the Peace4Kids community, will be open until the end of June. Her narrative is grounded in transformation and reminds us of the limitless possibilities of our youth. 


As we celebrate our 20 Year Anniversary, we encourage you to take a lesson from our youth and embrace the traumas that have shaped your life. To #SeeTheHero and to affirm your greatness.

Step into our Heroes Circle by clicking the button below and making a monthly donation to help build a sustainable future for youth transitioning out of foster care. 100% of your donation funds strength based, youth focused programming in South LA - honoring each youth’s unique needs, experiences, abilities and legacy. In return, you'll:


  • Be invited to exclusive events
  • Receive a limited edition 20 Year Anniversary t-shirt
  • Be inspired by stories of resilience, strength and promise from our Peace4Kids family
  • #SeeTheHero in our youth, because the truth is… that’s who they are.