Laquanda was removed from her home at the age of eight due to abuse. Although she was removed from a dangerous environment, the damaging effects lingered long after. She bounced around from home to home, constantly rejected by caregivers due to difficult behavior. The rejection only deepened the hurt and each time, the behavior grew worse. It seemed that no one would take the time to understand that she was suffering from mental health issues and unfortunately, Laquanda remained in the foster care system until she aged out at 18.
She was introduced to Voices For Children by another youth she knew from foster care. Through the organization, Laquanda was able to find the caring and acceptance that she had hoped for. She sought treatment for her mental health issues and is in a much better place today. Additionally, Voices is providing her with the resources necessary to obtain her certification in Phlebotomy which she will complete in three months and go on to work in a hospital.
When asked what she would tell children going through a similar experience Laquanda replies “I would let them know that everything is going to be ok, to always keep faith”. When asked what she would say to call donors to action on Give Miami Day, her response is simply “be a cheerful giver”