Written by Troy Elleston, CAFDN ambassador & former young person in care.

Troy is a spoken word writer and performer. The following is a spoken word piece he wrote in reflection of the journey to find his identity while also being a youth in care.

How many times do you shuffle the songs on your iPod and let infinite probabilities decide the words of the next lyrics?
Is it ever correct or does it always fail to please you?
Every song carries its own resonance, message and plays upon the command of an arrow on a screen.
But this time when you press play you’re not happy with the message, not because of the language but because of the context with which the lyricist projects his image.
This image is unforgiving as it tells the story of youth who drop out of school because they have nothing do.
Don’t get it wrong at that level, the work becomes demanding.
How can you take the time to learn graphs and 3d diagrams as templates for the construction of a building when the most important fabric of a household is missing?
A Father, rarely seen or thought about in many communities native to my persuasion. This could be the reason for the drop outs.
Could be the reason for death amongst youth, could be the reason why reasons for becoming successful decrease because failure feels better.
And even if bad weather hits us we don’t wake up to the music that’s playing in our ears because we’re used to it.
I wish that one day the earth bound water could just wash away all the pain, reflect the color of the sun and give us a rainbow to remind us that red isn’t the only color that exists even though the ground reveals bloodshed.
I am a part of this story included in my own inclusion but set apart because someone was watching me even as I got bruised walking in the wrong direction.
I am successful because the foundation chose to help. Their support has allowed me to follow my dreams. I am a former recipient of two Children’s Aid scholarships and a few bursaries. But I’m also successful because I chose to rise from the ashes and ignite my own flames.
I’m still a black youth who believes that members of his persuasion are not just statistics but characters who will add pages to this story. If you don’t believe me then let this lyric speak for itself.

Read another post from a former youth in care.

About The Author

The Children's Aid Foundation of Canada funds programs to help Canada's most vulnerable children and youth, those who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and neglect, overcome the obstacles in life that prevent them from reaching their full potential. We are committed to giving ongoing support to those who need it most.

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