From Foster Care to Fierce Advocate

A speech by Sacred Huff, GW Law ‘19, from the 2018 GW Power & Promise Dinner

March 07, 2019

 

Sacred Huff

 

My name is Sacred Huff, and I'm a student at GW Law.

I'm a former foster youth. About 6 years ago, I aged out of the foster care system. And today, I am the guardian of my 18-year-old sister, who is now a senior in high school.

A Scholarship Opened the Door

We moved to D.C. from Huntsville, Alabama, in 2016, so I could attend GW. My circumstances inspired me to pursue a career in law because I experienced systemic failures firsthand, and I believe that the legal system can and should be used to address many of these failures.

The scholarship I received enables me to study at GW and to take advantage of many different experiential learning opportunities, such as interning at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. My most memorable experience was the time my supervisor and I went to a local homeless shelter to give a Know Your Rights presentation for the residents.

Afterward, I spoke with a resident who shared that she had recently aged out of foster care herself. We compared experiences and discussed ways in which the system had failed us.

Later, my supervisors asked me to write a blog for the legal clinic’s website. The conversation I had with the resident inspired me to write a post addressing how aging out of foster care leaves youth more susceptible to homelessness due to being unprepared and the lack of safety nets.

Grateful for the Past

While writing this post, I sat down with the same resident and got her input because I wanted to tell her story. This was meaningful to me because it allowed me to experience advocacy in the purest form. Beyond being a voice for someone else, I was able to use my platform to empower someone else.

Because we shared similar backgrounds, that resident trusted me and was willing to be frank and honest with me. It made me grateful for my experiences because I realized that every hardship I faced has ultimately prepared me to be a better advocate for those I seek to represent.

Hopeful for the Future

I believe it is my purpose to do the type of work I intend to do. After interning at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, I am even more committed to practicing public interest law because I want to help disadvantaged and underserved communities.

Thank you for enabling students like me to participate in exceptional learning opportunities that will set us up for success and enable us to make a positive difference in the world.