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By DJ Ditto

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

My name is DJ Ditto. I will be graduating this next month with my bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a minor in Deaf Studies.

Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible!”, this quote was meant for his rather unique ability to imagine and create things in such detail that most people didn’t. But this quote is important to me because it is what best describes my life.

Growing up I didn’t have the most normal life; my parents were drug addicts all my young life coupled with multiple instances of domestic violence. My dad was in and out of jail growing up, until when I was 12 years old, he passed away due to an overdose on heroin. After his passing it took a huge toll on my family, to the point where my mom was not a good role model in mine and my sibling’s lives. She remained a drug addict, and had multiple boyfriends who also caused domestic violence, but she also turned to alcohol to buffer the emotional pain. Due to all that was going on she lashed out towards me and my siblings through emotional, mental, and physical abuse. Due to the abuse and neglect my younger sister and I went in to the foster care system. From all of this, I have really devoted myself to education and bettering my life so that I don’t turn out like my family. I have the goal of earning a PhD to give back and support special student populations such as Foster Youth, so they too can achieve their goals like I will.

During my time at Fresno State I have met many people who have wanted to continue to see me be successful, these are counselors, professors, and other professional staff. I asked different people to be mentors of mine, so that I would have people with wisdom to look to.

Now, as I said, I’m graduating on May 18th with my bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a minor in Deaf Studies. I will be moving to Chicago in June to attend the Advanced Standing Program at the University of Chicago to earn my master’s in social service administration.

The few important things from all of this that I want other foster youth to know is that: you are in the driver seat of your future, it may be a bit scary, and you won’t have all the answers right away and that’s perfectly normal just remember to reach out and ask for help.

There are plenty of people out there who want to see you be successful, you just have to find them.

Never take no for an answer or let anyone tell you that you can’t do something when it comes to your success. If they do, use it as fuel to propel yourself farther than you or anyone else ever thought you would.

Never take no for an answer or let anyone tell you that you can’t do something when it comes to your success. If they do, use it as fuel to propel yourself farther than you or anyone else ever thought you would.

Lastly, you define your success and your happiness. Never let anyone else tell you what or who you are. You have great potential to be anything you want to be.

A study states that 50% of Foster Youth graduate from high school, 20% enroll in some type of post-secondary education, and less than 5% of Foster Youth earn a bachelor’s degree. So, I think it’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

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