Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Spark of Inspiration: Author of Becoming Sir

If you haven't yet seen the Becoming Sir blog, it's a must read for all advocates and allies. For advocates (those of us who have experienced foster care directly), the experiences shared may hit close to home and are expressed with and admirable amount of honesty and mindfulness. For allies, an impressively balanced depiction of life in the foster care system can be found here.

Its author, Sir Aaron Mason, recognizes the assistance that geniuenly caring professionals provide and exposes what he calls a "culture of superiority and dominance"  in the foster care system. He speaks candidly about the abuse he endured at the group home McLaren Hall, and the loving Ms. Emma who worked as a staff there. He touches on the stigma that the foster care system carries, and the emotional distance he found after returning home with his biological mother. In his first post Am I Protected?, Aaron writes, "When Child Protective Services removes a child from an unsafe environment, it is common practice to place them in a safer environment then the one he/she left. In many instances, this does not happen." 

Aaron was kind enough to share some words of wisdom as a fellow advocate and this is what he had to share with the EmpowerMEnt family. The interview that follows was so informative, we will share it in a three part series!

JUSTGeorgia Crew: What inspired you to begin telling your story in this way?

Sir Aaron Mason: 
For a while, sharing my story was just a dream. Periodically I would tell my story to random people I came across and they were touched… They would recommend that I write a book… I would jokingly say things like “it’s already a best seller”, or “you haven’t caught my movie on life time?” In all honesty, I just did not know how to get my story out there.

Well one day, while working at the youth center that I direct, I began to engage a few of the youth in a conversation a bout their lives. This conversation included all kinds of things from legal troubles to their relationship with their parents and siblings.

They were really down on themselves. They had pretty much lost the desire to overcome all the crap in their lives. I took notice to their lack of hope and chimed in with my experiences. I pured my heart out to these kids for about an hour and you can see their whole attitude change. One of the kids replied… “Wow what I am going through isn’t anything… I can most defiantly get through this.”

For a few days, this experience set with me. I start thinking of all the children out there who have given up hope. How these children do not have any real examples of true struggle and success. Just seeing how my story relinquished hope with the youth I worked with inspired me to get working on a way to reach all the other children out there who just need a little spark of inspiration to get them back on track.

I began to research different ways of getting my story out there and stumbled onto Google Sites. It was perfect, just what I needed, and it was FREE! I purchased a domain name and there you have it!

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