No one understands the plight of an abused child navigating the foster care system better than one who walked the journey himself. Because Francisco Nelson has been there, he's been able to speak up as an advocate for South Florida's kids in crisis.
A Child Needing Rescue
Raised in an abusive and hostile environment, Nelson ran away from home at age 15. He told the police that if they took him back home, he'd just leave again. He ended up in group homes where his experiences were horrific. "The walls were saturated with anger, evil and confused youth . . . but in the midst of it, I was better off than at home," Nelson says.
A Life Worth Saving
It was nearly a year before his caseworker placed him in a foster home. "It completely changed the definition of safety to me," Nelson recalls. "It was a wonderful, positive experience." And by the time Nelson left when he turned 18, a close bond had cemented with his foster mom. "Her family accepted me," Nelson shares. "I am her son. That has really been transforming in my life."
A Life Changed Forever
As Nelson reaches out to help kids in the foster care system, he's thankful for the opportunity to be ". . . one voice [representing] hundreds of kids, bringing it before a board and before the state, [to] have the best impact on our youth."