SAN ANTONIO- Several local young people stuck in the foster care system for years were given an opportunity to create a better future for themselves Wednesday.
The Bexar County Family Services and Workforce Solutions Alamo Youth Services held a special job fair for them.
Emelia Hernandez attended the event and said she did so to find an opportunity that will help support her and her young daughter.
“I used to run the streets, gang bang,” Hernandez said. “I lost my mom when I was 16 years old and right now having bills to pay it's really, really hard to buy food and clothes for my daughter.”
With dreams of becoming a lawyer, the 20-year-old is working to take the first step in that direction. Hernandez has been getting help from the Bexar County Family Services for about five years now.
“Sometimes I'll be like 'I give up' and throw my books down,” Hernandez said. “But seeing my daughter, seeing them, they're like no you can’t.”
The feeling is all too familiar for Jessica Francis. Once a child in foster care, she's now a youth advocate helping kids like Emelia succeed despite their circumstances.
“We're here to support them,” Francis said. “A lot of these current and former foster youth don’t have a great support system.”
For Emelia and many of the young adults at the fair, getting a job literally meant the difference between a future and none at all.
“I felt like I was going to be in a coffin if something didn’t happen,” Hernandez said. “I want to be that mother who can carry a suitcase every day going to a courthouse being an attorney.”
She said she hopes to inspire her daughter in doing so.
“I just want her to be like 'wow I want to be like mommy.'”