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“Courtney is definitely very motivated,” says Jessica Delarosa, Buckner After Care case manager. “She’s determined for what she wants to do and nothing is going to hold her back.” Greer entered foster care when she was 11 years old and lived in a total of 27 group foster homes until she graduated from high school and aged out of the foster care system. Now Greer has a 14-month-old daughter and with the help of After Care, Greer is going to school and providing her daughter a more stable childhood than she experienced. Greer’s home life as a child was not ideal. Her parents had a meth lab and at times, she and her family lived in a truck in a Walmart parking lot. When they didn’t have gas, she wouldn’t go to school. Things children normally take for granted – food, clothing, shelter – Greer was often lacking. Instead there was instability, violence and want. When she was 11 years old, Greer was removed from her parents’ custody by Child Protective Services and put in a foster home after a SWAT team raided their house.

At first Greer was bitter about being removed, but over time, she came to realize that being in foster care improved her life. “I was young and in the beginning, all I saw it as was that they were taking me from my mom, but it was for the best,” Greer says. “Now, I’m glad they took me. When I went into foster care, we got food, clothing, shelter, and I didn’t have that when I wasn’t in foster care. “I learned that’s what a child should have. The way that my parents had us when we were with them, no child should have to go through that. They should never have to cry because they were so hungry. They should never have to cry because it’s cold. And in foster care, I never had to worry about any of that.” Greer is determined that her daughter will never have

to worry about that either. She diligently attends Ama- rillo College with plans to major in criminal justice and works part time with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a correctional officer. She leans on After Care to help her succeed. After Care is a program that acts as a support system for young people who have aged out of foster care. After Care

participants meet regularly with their case managers to talk about their lives and goals for the future. After Care also pro-

vides emergency assistance, helping with issues like unexpected car repairs and providing new clothes or school supplies. Greer realized how important the After Care support was in January when her daughter, Kyleigh, was hospitalized for 13 days with a severe case of pneumonia. While in the hospital, Greer found herself alone until Delarosa, her After Care

26 Buckner Today • SUMMER 2015 ISSUE

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