Ellenie Liang

Position: (she/her/hers)

Hi! My name is Ellenie Liang. My skills are being a team player and being a quick learner! My talent is being able to drink lemon juice without making a sour face. My lived experiences align closely to those who aged out or left foster care at an earlier age. The cut-off connection with the system left me clueless on the resources and opportunities that I had as a college student. I only learned about programs like the Fostering Youth College Success Initiative, Education and Training Vouchers, and the Chafee program through word of mouth. I am a Youth Action Researcher with YouthNPower.

Why is this project important to you?
This project is important to me because I often see myself among those aged-out youth, who have to manage on their own emotionally and financially. Being a part of this project is almost self-healing for myself as I was in that similar position.

What do you hope to accomplish in this project?
What I hope to accomplish in this project is have these aged-out youth feel heard and seen through our project. I also hope that organizations hold that same sentiment for these young people despite being out of the system.

What have been some of your experiences in the project?
Our heavy, emotional conversations as a group were such an impactful experience for me as I came to realize how much the system had affected me. I noticed that I had buried that foster youth label away from myself. As much as I wanted to be away from it, it was my past. This project redefined the foster care system and I began to perceive the label as a motivator. Being a former foster youth motivated me to be better than the stereotypes tied to that label and continue to excel even more.

What are your hopes and dreams for other young people?
My hopes and dreams for young people are seeing the 100 individuals in our direct cash transfer pilot thrive in life and exceed their own expectations. I hope that these individuals are able to see their own dreams and aspirations as attainable and a reality.

Ellenie’s Favorite Things:

Color: Turquoise and Beige
Animal: Dog and otters
Hobby: Reading manga, dyeing my hair, crocheting, puzzles, sudoku
Food: Hotpot at LaoJie
Beverage: Passionfruit green tea with lychee jelly
Zodiac: Pisces, Rising Virgo, Aquarius Moon
Book: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Author: Sadly, I don’t read enough books to have a favorite author
Season: Spring/ Fall
Vacation Destination: Korea
Flower: Baby’s Breath aka gypsophila
Activist: Pauli Murray
Revolutionary: Women’s Rights