Between her placement in foster care and being behind by 19 credits, Lucinda thought she had no chance of graduating high school, but after years of hard work, that’s exactly what she did. Now Lucinda is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she studies Public Horticulture and Public Health. She plans to work on a Masters degree next, and then a PhD. “I want to be as educated as possible so I can help my community,” she explains.
At her school, Lucinda is the Director of the Social Media Student Basic Needs Coalition. SBNC is a club dedicated to advocating for the basic needs of students. Lucinda also spends time advocating for foster youth and volunteers with students through a program at Austin East High School that promotes minorities in agriculture.
Lucinda is passionate about nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and youth development. “I never meant to get involved with foster care advocacy,” she admits. “I stumbled onto it as I was aging out. I realized that there was a need for compiled resources and foster parents. I decided to start Foster Future at the University of Tennessee to help support and advocate for foster youth. I want to help foster youths get into and remain in college, but we can’t do that without more foster parents, information, and support systems.”
In her free time, Lucinda likes to garden, create art, and play with my foster parents’ dogs.