Love and Relationships

February, 2014

As February nears, so does one of the biggest retail holidays of the year:  Valentine’s Day!  So it is only fitting that I dedicate the February blog to relationships and love.

Love and relationships in general can be pretty difficult to figure out, but when you throw in the background of an unstable past, it takes things to a completely different level.

Relationships play a big role in our lives, and many times for youth with experience in the foster care system, there is a tendency to have higher expectations of the people with whom they grow close. It is expected that they will never leave or do anything to break your heart, and that they will somehow fill all of the voids in your life.

In a play by Tyler Perry that I watched recently, titled Madea's Big Happy Family, the character Madea made a statement that hit home, and it went like this, “Every woman is a little girl at heart, and she is looking for the love of her father. If she had an awful daddy that did not treat her right, she doesn’t know what it’s like to have the love of a man. If you are brave enough, and man enough, to love that woman, she will come back at you with a love you ain’t never seen before in your life.”

My father figure died when I was 16, and at one point I was this girl, until I learned to love myself first. Understand that while some may get close, no one person will be able to be fulfill every single one of your needs. You just have to see who gets close.

I hear this question so many times: What is love?  Love can be a complex emotion to understand, and to a certain extent, I'm not quite sure anyone has fully mastered a total understanding of how powerful it is. But here are some important things to keep in mind for your relationship with your significant other: 

•    Before falling in love with anyone else, don’t forget to fall in love with yourself.
•    Be with someone who encourages you to be your best, but still loves and accepts you.
•    Remember that you are beautiful/handsome and worthy of respect and love.
•    Never make someone your priority and then allow yourself to be only an option for them.
•    True Love is not about sex.
•    True Love will not ask you to sacrifice everything and leave you empty.
•    Despite having a busy life, we all make time for the things that we want.
•    Being faithful in a relationship should never be an option. It is a must.

To read more about relationships, visit the following link on the SC NYTD website:

This has been Words of Faith. Until next time, check out all of the great resources on the SC NYTD website at and like our Facebook page, which can be found under “SC NYTD Stay Connected.”

Letting Go

May, 2014

“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

In the spirit of springtime, renewal, and fresh starts this month, we are going to address the topic of letting go.  I find that many of the youth that I have come into contact with tend to hold onto situations from their past that were beyond their control and allow them to take root in their present lives.  Understand that you are not responsible for the actions of anyone. Letting go is not something that is done overnight; it is a process.  However, once you do let go, you will feel freedom and a sense of peace.  We cannot control how others act; however, we can control our actions, thoughts, and the things that we say.

Letting go and finding forgiveness is not so much for others that have done wrong against you as it is for you. Suppressed emotions can cause stress, anxiety, and decreased productivity, as well as health issues like headaches, decreased appetite, insomnia, etc.  Each day you only have a certain amount of emotional energy, so be careful what you spend it on. You deserve to be free from any past or present situation that you may be holding onto. At some point in time, each person will have to be accountable for their actions.

Sometimes the greatest strength comes not from holding onto things but from learning to let go.  So today, if you find yourself in a situation with someone who has treated you poorly, or been dishonest, unkind, disloyal, disrespectful, or hurtful, take the time to understand why exactly they made you feel that way and then let it go. Letting go is essential to finding true peace within and being happy. Remember, no one is responsible for your happiness but you, so choose to be happy.

This has been Words of Faith. Until next time, check out all of the great resources on the SC NYTD website at and like our Facebook page, which can be found under “SC NYTD Stay Connected.”

Happy New Year and warm wishes for the best of days ahead!

January, 2014

The New Year is a time for reflection, resolutions, and new beginnings.  Take a moment to reflect on the past year as you set goals for the year ahead.

This upcoming year, I am committed to becoming the best person that I can be spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I will be open to love without fear and push myself to be greater than before. I will take a leap of faith for my dreams. This year, I resolve to be a happier and better me.

Remember that it’s never too late to live out your goals and dreams. Where there is a will, there is a way, and there is no better time than the present. Every day won’t be perfect, but in the end it will be worth it. And when things get tough, remember: each day presents new opportunities.


Never give up
Never give up

Choose to be happy
For you are worthy of love
With faith the size of a mustard seed
You can move mountains
Never give up
In yourself always believe
For you are priceless and important
And so are your dreams
You are destined to succeed
You can do anything you put your mind to
Because a part of you
Is just like me.

Submitted by: Faith Slater, GOALL/ NYTD Program Assistant

On behalf of the SC NYTD team,  Happy New Year and Best Wishes for the year ahead!!

Until next time, this has been a word of Faith. Check out all of the cool things on the SC NYTD website. Send us your feedback at

Hope for the Holidays

December 2013

“This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!”
- D.M. Dellinger

As the days go by and the weather grows cold, we are reminded that the holidays draw near. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s—it’s the most wonderful time of the year! However, this is not always the case.  For some youth who are in the foster care system, this can be the most dreaded time of the year.  Let’s face it: sometimes it’s not possible to have important family and friends with you during the holidays, and this can be painful.

But hope is far from lost!  If you are not looking forward to the holidays, this is one of those important moments in life when you can learn to accept the things that you can’t change and make the best of the situation. We don’t want you to just get through the holidays; we want you to enjoy them! So here are a few happy holiday reminders to help you stay focused on the positive and remember the reason for the season.

1.    No school!!!! Can you say Winter Break?!
2.    Turkey and stuffing and sweets…oh my!
3.    Volunteering at a homeless shelter
4.    Holiday parades
5.    Hot chocolate and marshmallows
6.    Gifts and sharing
7.    A time to create memories and new traditions
8.    ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas
9.    Winter weather
10.   A new year brings new beginnings

Also, check out this great resource created by Foster Club to help young people in care get through the holidays:

This has been a word of Faith. Until next time, check out all of the cool things on the SC NYTD website at and like our Facebook page, which can be found under “SC NYTD Stay Connected.”

Sibling Connections

September, 2013

“To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” ~Clara Ortega

From the earliest moments of my life, I can always remember my younger sister being by my side. Our siblings are the first ones that we have peer-to-peer interactions with. Because of them, we learn how to share everything, from toys to emotions. Every moment with siblings is not always great; there are moments when they get on your nerves and you bicker all of the time, but no matter what, nothing changes the fact that having a sibling is like having a built-in friend to travel the journey of life with.

The bond we share with our siblings is one unlike any other. Even though many siblings are often separated when put into foster care, you don’t have to let that break your bond. Sometimes we run into road blocks in life—they are not the end; we just have to find a way around them. Find a way to maintain that connection with your sibling in-between visitations, and if you are not getting the chance to visit with him or her, speak with your case manager, Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), or Court Appointed Special Advocate CASA worker and say that you would like to do so. While it may not be the same as being with him or her in person, write your sibling letters and send them off in the mail, or if you both have access to a computer, keep in touch via email or a social network.

For siblings that have had to take on more of a parental role for a younger sibling, when the time comes when you have to step out of that role, the transition can be quite difficult.  For the longest time, you have been not only their sibling but also their protector, best friend, and in some cases, their provider.  However, at some point you will have to let that sibling stand on his or her own two feet. This is by far probably one of the hardest things to do; however, your little brother or sister has to grow up and learn some of life’s experiences just as you did.

Sometimes younger siblings will go through a phase when it seems as if they are pushing you away and will do the opposite of any advice you give them, but this is just their moment of trying to find and establish their identity outside of your shadow. It is a growing period for the both of you, and this may sound weird, but during this time, you learn how to be just their sibling all over again. I will never forget my younger sibling telling me, “I don’t want you to be my mother anymore; I just want my sister.” Though at the time it was hurtful, it was what we needed for us to grow more as individuals and become closer as siblings, and it has made all the difference.  We have a great relationship now, and because of that anywhere I go, from church to shopping to a trip to the park, she’s the person I want to have by my side to join me in whatever I’m doing.

For more information regarding sibling connections and how to have a healthy relationship with your brothers and/or sisters, visit the following link on the SC NYTD website.

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