Born into a family of three brothers and one sister, Ladasha is very proud to be the first person in her family to attend college. Ladasha is a 21-year-old freshman studying Early Childhood Education at Kingsborough Community College. She is a bright, energetic, and lively young woman with big dreams.

Three years ago, her journey in college got off to a rocky start. She was enrolled in a four-year college in Brooklyn, but struggled while juggling a full-time course load and a full-time job to pay for rent, food, and living expenses. It was simply too much. Ladasha decided to take a leave of absence to save up money for school. She was also preparing to age out of foster care and realized she would no longer have the support system of her foster care agency.

Ladasha now attends Kingsborough Community College, a two-year college in Brooklyn, that is a better fit for her needs. However, this time it feels different. Ladasha was recently awarded a scholarship through the Guardian Scholars Program. “It feels great to know that someone is out there helping me with my education.” She adds, “When I started college again I was wondering how I was going to be able to afford school supplies and textbooks as well as keep a roof over my head. With New Yorkers For Children’s support, I feel a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. I can focus on my school work.”

In her spare time, Ladasha enjoys volunteering, playing volleyball, listening to poetry, and spending time with her family and friends. She is also an active member of the NYFC Youth Advisory Board, group of highly engaged high school and college students in foster care who serve as advocates for other children and youth in care in New York City. This past May, she and her fellow members organized a literacy event to instill a love of learning and reading in younger children in foster care.

“I want to be a second grade school teacher. I want to work at Mount Pleasant Cottage School, the same school I went to while I was in foster care. I want to give back to youth in foster care,” says Ladasha. “Your help motivates me to help other students. Your support changes lives.”

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