• Family Focus: Woman gives back to other foster care children

    By: Erica Bryant


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Johnson C. Smith University just crowned this year's Miss Johnson C. Smith University a few weeks ago.

    Rhonda Wright has spent the past four years involved in team sports, organizations and learning.

    To see Wright now, you would never imagine the turmoil in her past.

    Her parents struggled with substance abuse, so at age 2, Wright and her siblings were split up and placed in foster care.

    "Foster care families have ups and downs, good times and bad times. I experienced more traumatic effects," said Wright.

    But instead of dwelling on the bad she said she focused on her future.

    "I was always academically well-rounded. I always knew education was going to be my way," Wright.

    Wright landed a Presidential scholarship to Johnson C. Smith University.

    Now a senior, she was just crowned homecoming queen her platforms is to help fellow students who have come out of foster care.

    "We will provide mentorship, weekly meetings, academically socially and make sure they are matriculating well here," said Wright.

    She works in conjunction with the university's foster care initiative run by Patricia Newell.

    "So dealing with another young person that had issues that caused you to be taken from your own parents, I think it is heroic," said Newell.

    "They did really well with the independent practice," said Wright.

    Wright plans to give back even more after graduation and become a teacher.

    "My story is to help someone else in that situation, but who might not see the bright light ahead of them," said Wright.

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