6 years in Pennsylvania’s Foster Care System
20 years old
Teshiana Smith-Nichols is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She experienced 6 years in kinship care. As a Foster Youth Advocate, Teshiana is here to share her insight on the changes she believes are necessary to ensure that foster youth get what they deserve.
Teshiana is studying Social Work & Business at the University of Pittsburgh. She was motivated to become a FosterClub All-Star by the thought of being able to create change for people like her. When life is getting tough, she copes by listening to music and starting a new activity like working out (yoga) and learning new things by reading urban books.
Teshiana’s dream job is to be the first entrepreneur in her family and become a life coach. Her hope and wish for her community is that it will become a place where all people are accepted and there is a movement in the community to build togetherness.
Teshiana shared the advice she would give to a young person in foster care: “I recommend taking any risk that forces you to grow as a person, internally. Go for what you want in life. Don’t let there be any limitations, because someone is always watching you. If you are gonna do something, give it your all.”
Two quotes from Erich Thomas that inspire her are:
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
“You can get through this. you are bigger than your pain, don’t give up, don’t give in.”
Teshiana reflects: "These quotes help me to remember that diamonds are only pressured coal, and that’s who I am a diamond.”