Paying it Forward for Her Neighbors


After leaving her parents’ house at age 14, Allison and her brother were met with an unthinkable decision: enter foster care, or move away from their hometown to be with other family members.

Thankfully, her grandparents were willing to take them in, and after going through the legal system, they were able to find a nurturing home once again. “I had to learn a lot really quickly, and grew up fast,” Allison said. “I feel lucky to have been brought into a loving family with my brother.”

Still, this transition was a big life change, and exposed Allison to the legal system and social services early on. She met other students in foster care who didn’t have the support that she and her brother found, and weren’t as encouraged to keep going in school. Hearing their stories was all the motivation she needed to pursue a career in law.

Allison knew she would need extra support for college, so she applied to VOA’s Dare to Dream scholarship, a program that supports youth in foster care. She received the scholarship and was able to attend St. Mary's College. Allison received her Bachelor’s degree and was quickly accepted into Syracuse University’s School of Law.

Now finishing her second year of law school, Allison is looking forward to beginning her career as an advocate for families in similar situations. She continues to receive the Dare to Dream scholarship, allowing her to focus on her studies and pursuing her dreams. We are proud of Allison and her passion for law, and know that she will change many lives!

*To learn more about how you can contribute to the Dare to Dream scholarship, click here.