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Forever Families: Central Texas children in foster care are in need of mentors

Children in foster care aren't just in need of adoptive parents, they also need friendships and support via mentorships.

AUSTIN, Texas — Sometimes, it's not about blood or the biological relatives on your family tree. Sometimes, you get to choose your family, like guardian angels encountered along the way. 

"So, when you get out of foster care, it's not like other kids. You don't have a mom and dad to fall back on and get you through things," Sierra McGowan told KVUE.

McGowan grew up in the Texas foster care system and experienced a wide range of trauma in her childhood.

It was through Partnerships for Children's mentorship program that she met her mentors, Dana Krizin and Laura Wells, when she was 15.

"That's what we have. They're my family, they're my chosen family. We got to choose and I'm grateful for that," McGowan said.

"It's important to feel loved and know you have someone there for you," McGowan added.

Although she was never adopted, McGowan has kept a special relationship with both Krizin and Wells to this day. Now 23, she also has a husband and a baby of her own.

Looking back, Krizin said she is so grateful the mentorship opportunity fell into her lap. 

"People go into mentoring and think it's going to be all on them to know everything. I think I learned more from Sierra than any of my friends, to be perfectly honest," Krizin said.

Wells feels the same way about meeting McGowan.

"She made our lives richer," Wells said.

Right now in Central Texas, there are many children in need of mentors. If you would like to get involved, click here to learn more.

KVUE launched the Forever Families segment with Partnerships for Children (PFC) in June 2020 to highlight children in the Heart Gallery of Central Texas who need secure and permanent families. Every day, there are nearly 1,000 children waiting to get adopted in Central Texas, according to PFC.

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