Meet 18 Care Leavers you should all know about.
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
Shirina Carstens- Founder of Beauty from Within, International Speaker, Humanitarian, Philanthropist, Panel Member, Mother.
Shirina Carstens is a champion for kids in care and does this by powerfully sharing her story, and shedding light in dark places. She is also an ambassador for change and believes that every single individual has greatness inside of them. In addition to this, she helps individuals from all walks of life discover their potential and does this in her own creative and unique way. Shirina is also an international speaker and has had the privilege to talk in countries such as Canada where she was able to touch the lives of many so much so that the queue of people coming to speak to her afterwards had no end. Shirina, you are an inspiration and we would like to honor you for Care Leavers Week 2019.
Penny Jarrett- Creative, Mental Health Expert, ADHD Blogger, Care Experienced Champion, Influential Speaker.
Penny Belle is a compassionate, warm and thoughtful individual that makes a conscious daily effort to ‘be the change that she would like to see in the world’. She does this by creating continuous awareness on the importance of looking after yourself and helps to remove the harsh stigmas that are attached to mental health in today’s society. She also empowers others through sharing the most vulnerable aspects of her experiences whilst providing secure and safe environments for others to open up and be completely themselves. Penny, we love and recognise you today, you are a Care Experienced champion and we are so blessed to have you.
Shalyce Lawrence- Founder of The Tope Project, Performer, Facilitator and Advocate for Foster Care.
Shalyce Lawrence is a powerful woman that is passionate about the support system and well-being of Care Leavers. After sadly loosing her friend to suicide she took it upon herself to create something that would ensure Tope’s legacy lived on. She strives to make it her obligation that children in the care system get the best and are never in a place of isolation or abandonment particularly around festive seasons such as Christmas. A few years ago, she took it upon herself to plan one of the biggest Christmases for Care Leavers ever and to her surprise it was a massive success. The project managed to get coverage from, The Independent newspaper, to Channel 4, to ITV New’s, The Guardian and many other renown platforms. Shalyce, we celebrate you today, thank you for playing such an integral role in the lives of our young people.
Jerome Harvey Agyei- Co- Founder of The Tope Project One Young World Ambassador and Growth Facilitator.
Jerome Harvey Agyei is a pioneer for change, he uses his story as a way to show others that it is possible to make it out from any situation if you put your mind to it. He is currently an ambassador for one of the world’s greatest organisations known as One Young World and helps to impact the world positively for the future of human growth. He currently gives back to young people in care through his role in being a Senior Children and Youth Participation officer and has done so for a period of over 10 years. Jerome, it is our absolute honor to feature you as one of the 18 Care Leavers that others should know about as you’re doing an incredible job, thank you for your work.
Michelle Sebele- Alumni Leadership Board Member, Policy forum ambassador, Kings college medical student.
Michelle Sebele is an amazing young woman with a driving force for change not only within her community but within her educational institution. She is a full time medical student at one of the top universities in the UK (Kings College London) and continues to defy the odds by implementing social and political change at every opportunity given to her. She also recently spoke at the 'Be Inspired' event for Care Leavers where she delivered her personal truths and spoke some kind words of encouragement to the young people that were present. Michelle you are amazing, and we are proud to acknowledge you for Care Leavers Week, thank you for all you do.
Jordan Morgan- Trustee and CEO of Policy Forum at Drive Forward, Middle east programme manager, Researcher at a Think Tank specialising in Political Violence.
Jordan Morgan is an invaluable leader in his community that focuses on stirring political change amongst other passionate care leavers. He uses his voice in rooms that often struggle to understand the needs of Looked After Children and helps to address the issues that strongly effect the lives of those that are apart of the care system. He plays an integral part in his role of being a trustee at The Drive Forward Foundation and has left an everlasting legacy through his inclusive partnership with them in coming together to ignite political change all over the UK. Jordan, you are not only a national leader but a global one, we would like to take the time out to applaud you for all your efforts and hard work, thank you so much.
Cleopatra- Law Student, YouTuber, Speaker, Advocate for Foster Care.
Cleopatra is a profound You Tuber that uses her voice to speak about her experience of being an adoptee and losing her brother to suicide. She speaks passionately about the urgency for more individuals to come forward and apply to become adoptive parents. She is also enthusiastic about spreading the word of how important it is and expresses the difficulty in finding genuine people that truly want to make a difference in a child’s life and because of this encourages those that have the capacity to do so, to come forward. Cleopatra, thank you so much for taking the stand to boldly speak about your story and transform the lives of others, you are evidently making a difference and it is extremely wonderful to see.
Henrietta Imoreh- Alumni, Theatre Director for LAC, Career Consultant for Ernest Young Foundation.
Henrietta Imoreh is an optimistic young lady with a burning zeal to change the trajectory of a Care experienced person’s life for the better. Through having the first-hand experience in seeing her life take a turn for the positive, she has made it her daily obligation to promote effective change in the lives of Looked After Children. She often does this by sharing her experiences and testifying of how she was able to come out at the other end. Henrietta, thank you so much for all you do, everything that you do never goes unnoticed and is highly appreciated.
Travon Steadman- Care experienced Spokesman, Storyteller, Professional content developer and media expert.
Travon Steadman is a highly impactful speaker that focuses on amplifying the stories of others who feel like they haven’t got a voice in society. He uses his own story as fuel to relight important issues that are still relevant today and focuses on ways that he can raise vital matters in a creative and thought-provoking way. Travon, thank you so much for being the voice of the voiceless and for taking a stand to tackle the stigmas and problems that effect Care Experienced young people everyday.
Andrew Smith- Horse riding champion, Young role model, Influential voice, Huffington post spokesman.
Andrew Smith (16) has defied the odds in many ways, despite coming from a difficult background. He has used his voice to impact the voiceless and has shown that the possibilities in life are endless if you put your mind to it and work hard. Andrew is currently studying to become a professional horse rider and has recently been accepted into one of the top horse-riding colleges in the UK. He has also contributed to be a spokesman on Huffington post and was recently chosen to meet with the Duchess of Cornwall for his excellence. Andrew, we rejoice with you today and would like to thank you for the part you play in ‘being the change’.
Annie Gibbs- Founder of Amour Destine, Community Champion, Mentor and events specialist.
Annie Gibbs is a community champion with a huge heart, she uses her story to help empower the lives of other women and facilitates workshops that spark up a raw and burning passion, in order to educate others on how to take the power back in their communities. She is the CEO of Amour Destine as well as the director of Gagecic and Lioness Circle which all share the commonalities of coming together as one and 'being the change, that we wish to see'. Annie, we appreciate everything you do and would like to applaud you for all that you continue to do, thank you so much!
Asa Mohammed- Professional Dancer, Brit School graduate, Ambassador for Nike, Britain’s got talent finalist and Student.
Asa Mohammed is a phenomenal dancer with an incredible soul that uses her talent to help empower the lives of other young people. Her talent has made room for her on many levels including being a finalist on Britain's Got Talent, being a dance workshop facilitator at Nike as well as being chosen to star in a recent play that was produced by Hillsong. Asa’s work rate is effortless, and it is inspiring to see her transform the world with her light at such a young age. Asa, we know that this is only the beginning for you and look forward to witnessing the many more great things that you continue to achieve, keep flourishing as it truly is beautiful to witness.
Ashley Baptiste- Cambridge University Graduate, BBC News Reporter, Motivational Speaker, Change agent for foster care.
Ashley Baptiste is a BBC News Reporter and heroic figure for Care Experienced young people, he has defied the odds in many different ways and is a living and breathing testimony that ‘anything is possible’. He acts as a pillar of hope to many and continues to remove negative stigmas and beliefs that are usually thought about children in care. Ashley, recently put on one of the biggest events in the borough of Southwark called 'Be Inspired' which had an incredible turn out and left many feeling inspired, uplifted and and motivated for change. Ashley, we would like to show you our appreciation today in recognising you as one of the 18 young adults who are making a difference in our community, thank you.
Ric Flo- Advocate for Foster Care, Rapper, Storyteller, Metro news contributor.
Ric Flo is an amazing artist with genius wordplay and flawless delivery. He uses his electric lyrics to ignite positivity into the lives of care experienced people and creates change through leading creative workshops for foster children. His heart to give back to his community is second to none and the impact that he generates through sharing his story is mind blowing. Ric Flo, we acknowledge you today, you are an asset to your community, and we are so privileged to have you.
Zachariah- Outreach Coordinator, Advocate for Care Leavers, Voice of impact, Policy Ambassador.
Zachariah is the voice of change in his community, his passion to help other young people in care is driven through his own personal experiences and is the driving force in others in letting them know that all things are possible despite the disadvantage of growing up in care. He is a mentor for society’s definition of ‘hard to reach young people’ and stands as an advocate of hope for young people who may feel lost, deprived and isolated from their communities. Zachariah, thank you for using your experiences to shape your practice as well as being a committed member of impact to help change the world and environments around you.
Kara Packer- Advocate for Change, Positive Role Model for Care Leavers, Policy forum Ambassador.
Kara Packer is a delightful young lady that focuses on being change that she wants to see in the world. She uses her Care experience expertise to uplift the lives of young people and empowers them through sharing her story. She was recently chosen to be a spokesperson at City Hall to talk about her experience of being wrongly criminalised for an offence that was no fault of her own. She is passionate about seeing transformation and radical change in how Care Leavers are dealt with when accused wrongfully of criminal activity and hopes to shed continuous light on the matter in order for things to change. Kara, we would like to dedicate this post to you and thank you for all that you continue to do.
Tobi Green- Adenowo- Inspirational Keynote Speaker for Disabled Care Leavers, Wheelchair Dancer, TV Personality.
Tobi Green Adenowo is an inspirational care leaver that uses her voice to bring awareness to the world about care leavers that have disabilities. She uses her voice as a triumph of hope to show others that despite your physical impairments nothing is impossible to accomplish and in fact you can do all things if you put your mind to it. Tobi Is also famously known for her grand appearance in the Channel 4 series, ‘The Undateables’ where she helped to diminish the stigma’s attached to the world of ‘dating with a disability’. Tobi, we show you admiration and honor today and would like to thank you for your decision to stand up to be fearlessly free, keep changing the world as you are making it a better place.
Keeley Stephenson- Author, Parliamentary Board Member, Panel member, Advocate for Foster Carers and Youth Work Practitioner.
Keeley Stephenson is an enthusiastic young woman that is passionate about steering national change in her community. She does this by creating numerous partnerships with local authorities to discuss what the gaps within their services are. She also uses her specialist expertise to engage in parliamentary discussions with service providers and other decision makers to help create and adjust changes in the system. In addition to this, she has also written a book that summarises her foster care experience and as a result of that travels regionally to train and share her story to various care givers. Keeley, thank you so much for the work you do, we cannot thank you enough.