"June will mark thirteen years since I became a guardian ad litem volunteer. I went into the foster care system at fourteen, and no one showed up for me. At sixteen, I ran away from an abusive foster placement, staying with different friends until I found out I was pregnant and checked into a program for pregnant women in crisis. No one knew where I was, and my caseworker covered up my running away so she wouldn't get in trouble. My aunt went to court and told the judge I was missing. It was Alpha House of Tampa who saved me. I stayed there until I aged out of the system and moved to Gainesville about a year later.
At eighteen, I promised that I would commit to helping other kids from falling through the unstable foundation of the system. I was on my way to work one day when I heard the radio PSA for the Guardian ad Litem Program and knew God was leading my steps to fulfill the promise I had made. I remember each child that I have been blessed to advocate for. I remember their stories and fought passionately for a better outcome. Many cases were successful; some were not. But, I believe the time spent and the love given will remain with them. Their resilience and strength will always stay with me." — Sheena, Guardian ad Litem Volunteer