Youth Villages stories

Youth Villages stories


The Washington Post profiled Washington, D.C., LifeSet participant Deshala Royster, and spoke with our Federal Policy Associate Robert “Tony” Parsons about aging out of foster care during a pandemic. 

She will ‘age out’ of foster care in two months. Her hope: That lawmakers will make sure young people like her aren’t pushed out during the pandemic.

Oct 15, 2020 | Media Coverage, Pressroom

Before Deshala Royster ended up in D.C.’s foster care system, decorating her bedroom with vision boards that tell of the life she hopes to create, she spent years taking on adult roles in the life she was handed.

By age 10, she was paying her family’s water bill.

By 13, she was taking care of the grocery shopping and watching her mother’s physical and mental health challenges grow progressively worse.

In a couple of months, on Dec. 23, Deshala will turn 21. For her, that milestone birthday won’t just mark a coming-of-age moment when she’s suddenly seen as mature enough to drink legally, gamble in Vegas and drive for Uber.

It will also mark the moment she’s supposed to “age out” of foster care.

Read the full story here.













By age 5, she knew how to cook rice on her own.