Janell Braxton grew up in the foster care system for twelve years in over eight different foster homes and kinship care. She is attending Edmonds Community College and is expecting to graduate Spring Quarter 2014 with her AA. Janell plans to transfer and get her Masters in Social Work. She is very passionate about reforming the foster care system and has been working with organizations such as Mockingbird Society and Passion to Action to reach her goals. She has been with these organizations for going on four years and has done a lot of work advocating for foster youth on issues that are important.
Since she entered care she was separated from her biological younger brother and was faced with the problem that they couldn’t see each other or communicate. Janell was driven and motivated to change that about the foster care system. When she first worked with Mockingbird Society she raised this concern and in 2013 the Sibling Connection became a law which means that all foster youth will keep in contact with their siblings in or out of care. Since this happened Janell has been actively involved, sharing her personal experience with foster parents, foster youth, at colleges, to law makers, legislators, and mayors. She has done speeches at fundraisers, luncheons, and in Olympia. Since advocating she has been able to grow as a person, be more active on campus, and has learned to raise her voice with concerning issues of the foster care system. To her, the foster care experience has given her opportunities that she could never dream were possible and she plans to share them with other youth in hopes that it will change their lives as well.