For years, the foster care system has been plagued by negative stigmas and persistent stereotypes. But for some children, the foster care system is their only chance at finding a “forever” family. Coloring the system in such a negative light has had the effect of discouraging prospective parents and diminishing all the good that gets done through the system. Thankfully, one young man decided to do something about it.
In 2008, when he was still a college student, Danny Mendoza was shocked to discover that his 9-year-old cousin was living in a car. Determined to help, Danny was shocked when government agencies denied his request to become his cousin’s guardian because he, himself, was under the age of 21. Realizing there were no organizations that allowed young people to make a substantial difference for youth in the foster care system, Danny knew something had to be done.
With the help of social media, Danny conceived the idea to share the touching photos of foster children on their adoption day with the hope of spreading awareness and compassion. As the campaign gained momentum, more and more people started sharing their inspirational stories and it quickly became apparent that an organization that supported people who wanted to make a difference in the lives of foster children across the nation. And so, Together We Rise was born.