Ebony was four years old when the red convertible pulled up to her house and a lady from the Department of Child Services took her away from her home. This would be the first of many times when Ebony and her sisters would be separated from their parents and each other while being placed in foster care.
While they were in the foster care system, they were not placed together. The sisters waited anxiously as their father worked to get himself situated and able to get the girls placed back into his custody. Ebony and her sisters returned home, in the care of their father and new stepmother. Within a year, Ebony’s dad disappeared and the girls were left in the care of their stepmother. From age 7 to 12, Ebony and her sisters lived with their stepmother who received financial assistance to care for them. According to Ebony, “when the money stopped coming in, I was kicked out.”
Ebony was placed in a guardian home, separated once again from her sisters. DCS placed her, temporarily, in a foster home until she was moved into the home of her great aunt and uncle who she had never met.
This new home and family lasted a few short years. About the time she started middle school Ebony was back in the guardian home. Ebony preferred living in the guardian home. She wanted to take care of herself, she believed she had to because everyone she had known continued to let her down.
Throughout middle school and high school Ebony was again placed in multiple different foster homes and group homes, each of them not working out. All of this taking place during the most transformational years of her life.
While most children are leaning on their friends and family through their youth and teenage years, Ebony had to be independent and resilient. She had to forge her way through the world as her own advocate.
When Ebony was 16 years old she was assigned a Guardian Ad Litem from Child Advocates, Chris Mundy. Chris was appointed to Ebony to advocate for her best interest while she was in the foster care system. He was a constant presence, a friend, and a confidant. He was someone she could count on and rely on after everyone else had let her down.
“I saw him often,” said Ebony, “I’m pretty sure I got on his nerves a lot,” she laughed, “He let me talk. He let me vent about life and my situation. He was there for me. He let the court know what I wanted. He was my voice when I couldn’t speak for myself. I know he was doing a good job advocating for me because he was honest and genuine.”
Chris helped guide Ebony into extended services after she turned 18, which is typically when teens transition out of foster care. “Most of us experience help and support when we transition out of our homes into college or the real world, I think children in foster care deserve the same support,” said Mundy.
After completing an associate’s degree in 2011, Ebony began to intern at Child Advocates. In 2012, Ebony was hired to work at Child Advocates full time, alongside the man who helped guide her through the toughest time in her life.
While working at Child Advocates, Ebony began to pursue other passions. In 2016, Ebony started to venture into the fashion world. She started a small business and by 2018 she decided to pursue it full time.
Perfect Pick by Ebony Nicole currently has 2 storefront locations and a full online store. “The goal for my store is to sell quality fashion at a reasonable price. I want to keep expanding to be able to meet the needs of fashion-ista’s like myself,” said Ebony.
To say that Ebony is determined and motivated would be an understatement. She’s unstoppable. She’s independent. She’s resilient. She’s transformed into an extraordinary adult and Child Advocates is honored to have been part of her journey to success.
Find out more about Perfect Pick by Ebony Nicole at: www.perfectpickbyebonynicole.com
To learn more about Child Advocates visit: www.childadvocates.net