SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Time is running out for a local 16-year-old girl who's hoping to find a forever family before she turns 18.
Michelle is a self-motivated young woman, who is on track to graduate high school one year early.
She would like nothing more than a forever family to celebrate and support her.
"You know, it'd be nice to have a family," said Michelle. "It'd be nice to have something stable and someone that accepts you for having blue hair."
For Michelle, her style often varies between trendy and traditional as a form of self-expression.
"It makes me me," she said. "It makes me unique and I think it means something to me, because being me, is special to me."
Having grown up in the foster care system, Michelle has learned to look out for herself.
"When I first entered the foster care system, I was 2 months old," she said. "And ever since then, I've been in and out of the foster care system."
She describes her experience as stressful.
With less than a year and a half left before she turns 18, Michelle is holding out hope, she will find a forever home.
Right now, she's living in a group home.
"It's not the same," said Michelle. "You want the feeling of having a mom and a dad."
Michelle was just 8 years old, when her biological mom passed away, but many memories are still vivid.
"She had this tattoo on her arm that was a daisy, so any time I see daisies up in the air floating around, I think of her and I feel like that's her," Michelle said.
To help turn her loss and experiences into something positive, Michelle volunteers at a senior center, spending time with Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
"Because sometimes their families don't visit them and they feel forgotten," she said. "That's kind of how I felt in the foster care system - so I can relate to them. We color with them, we talk with them. Sometimes they have really great stories, like with the wars and stuff.
"It's really nice to hear them talk and I can look up to them and see what good role models they were and try to take from what they did."
Michelle has a nurturing spirit and she also enjoys caring for animals.
"When I was with an old foster mom, we fostered puppies," she said. "And I loved doing it because you got to help these puppies grow up - and you were their mom, because some of these puppies were abandoned by their moms."
Self-motivated to make sure her own path leads to success, Michelle is focused on the future.
"I've just always had a drive to do good," she said.
Michelle is set to finish high school one year early.
"Right now, I have A's and B's and I'm graduating my junior year instead of my senior year and I plan to go to college, straight out," she said.
And having a forever family to share her upcoming milestones, would be a dream come true.
"Not a lot of my family members got to graduate high school or had good grades, so I try to go beyond that and prove, just because there are bad eggs in a batch, doesn't mean one can't come out doing better," said Michelle.
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U or click here to access the free orientation schedule.
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