Former Foster Child Will Smith Thrives in College

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

ARIZONA DAILY STAR -- Will entered foster care when he was about 4 years old. He’d been living with his grandparents. One day they took him to a police station, and told him to wait on a bench.

He sat there for about three hours before anyone noticed and asked where his family was. In the bathroom, he said.

Will was taken into foster care and placed in a home where he said he was starved and abused. He dropped out of school in the 10th grade.

Now age 23, after two years at First Place for Youth in Oakland, he has his associate’s degree and is moving into the dorm at San Francisco State. He’ll be studying communications. His youth advocate, Kate, asks if he knows anyone who has lived in a dorm. He doesn’t. No one in his family and immediate circle has graduated from high school.

Visiting Will at his apartment in June, it’s clear he’s been struggling some with the idea that his time at First Place, with the security and safety of a youth advocate, is ending.