A Special Message from a Foster Care Alumnus to Our Veterans from Terry Scraggins, CCAI 2018 Foster Youth Intern
As we celebrate National Adoption Month and Veterans Day this November, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) honors all our Veterans, as well as our Foster Youth Interns and Angels in Adoption® Honorees who have served (and are serving) in our military. We asked Terrence (Terry) Scraggins, one of our 2018 Foster Youth Interns and a service member in the U.S. Navy, to share about himself and offer a message to our Veterans.
Hi everyone! I’m Terry Scraggins. I am currently in my junior year at Boise State University’s BSW Social Work Program. I’m also a part-time barista at a local coffee shop here in Boise, Idaho.
Without a doubt I can say that my favorite memory from the Foster Youth Internship Program this summer has to be the Congressional and White House briefing. Spending the summer with CCAI is an experience only a handful of individuals have the privilege to participate in! Being provided a platform to advocate for tens of thousands of youth in the broken foster care system was empowering and has me yearning to do more.
I have always been a bit of an overachiever in life. The goals I set for myself continuously vary and change depending on what my focus is. I’m planning to complete my bachelor’s in social work by the spring of 2020. At that point, I will decide which path I would like to take on next. I have not yet decided on whether I want to immediately further my education by obtaining a Masters in Social Work or if I want to return to the Navy; fearlessly attempting to become a Naval Officer. I have realized that the United States Navy has prepared me for either path.
Joining the Navy helped me find my voice. It stripped me down and built me back up again. It showed me I could accomplish anything, as long as I fought for it and put in hard work and dedication. Whenever I get discouraged in any facet of life, I reflect on past Naval experiences and I remember how I was able to get through 18-hour work days when we were out at sea. It is then when many other things in life don’t look too bad anymore.
CCAI and the Foster Youth Internship Program has made quite the impression on my future goals. If I was not given the opportunity to participate in the Foster Youth Internship Program, I never would have realized my passion for policy work and I wouldn’t have realized the impact my passion for policy would have on my future goals and plans. The FYI Program pointed me in the direction of these goals by helping me gain a wealth of knowledge that I would not have gained without this experience.
Other goals aside from my career, include starting a family and becoming a foster and adoptive parent one day, once I am well-established. In the meantime, to take care of myself in this extremely busy lifestyle, I run. I’ve completed two half-marathons and am currently training for a full marathon next summer!
Since my internship this summer, I have continued to be involved and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, specifically those within the child welfare system. Recently, I wrote an op-ed published within The Chronicle of Social Change. Additionally, I’ve been working with the Family Equality Council to raise awareness about the LGBTQ+ community within foster care.
What is your message to our veterans as we celebrate Veterans Day this year?
Thank you so much for serving our country and signing that dotted line. Most will never know the full-extent and duties you signed up for when you enlisted. To those who have lost their lives for our country, thank you for paying the ultimate price so that we can continue to be free.
Terrence (Terry) Scraggins was a participant in the 2018 Foster Youth Internship Program®, one of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s signature programs. To learn more about ways you can get involved with the Foster Youth Interns or National Adoption Month, please visit us at www.ccainstitute.org and contact Kate McLean at email@example.com.
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