What Foster Youth Need Right Now

Gichera Loman, a 19-year-old college student from New Jersey,
Nursing student Gichera Loman, 19, dreams of becoming a physician. Photo courtesy of Gichera Loman

Since 2020, things have been … well, not going great. From World War III almost happening, Kobe Bryant dying in a helicopter crash, to the pandemic of COVID-19, or as we know the coronavirus.

My name is Gichera Loman, I am 19 years old and I’m currently a college student. I attend Rowan College At Burlington County in New Jersey, and my current major is biology. I’m currently in foster care and have been in foster care for seven years now. But due to the pandemic of the coronavirus, my school has canceled along with all in-person instruction for the rest of the spring semester. Not having in-person teaching has caused us to switch into online schoolwork.

The school shutting down has caused me not to be able to attend my nursing program for school to help me further my education, and like others, being taught in-person is better than getting up every morning to get online to talk to your teacher. The impact that this has on many students is that some aren’t able to access a computer and complete work to get a grade.

Students aren’t able to access online work because they have no internet connection at home. Students can’t even go to the library, because we need to practice social distancing. But this is not helping students who are failing classes due to the effects that this virus is causing.

Ways we can help with this situation are to provide students with laptops that will help them with their online work. The number of students and teachers not attending schools and universities is soaring. Not attending school has caused some students to not even be able to attend prom, senior trips, and most importantly graduation.

For my school, students who were graduating at the end of the spring semester have to graduate electronically now. Hearing that you can’t walk across the stage to get your diploma, or college degree is heartbreaking especially if that was the one thing you were looking forward to in the year of 2020.

The novel coronavirus pandemic is pushing employers to the extreme, causing some jobs to even shut down, mostly food markets and restaurants. Some are trying to wait it out while others are simply trying to figure out what modifications can be made to their services and operations. I work at Target, which is an essential store because we sell food, cleaning products, paper towels, toilet paper, all the essentials that people will need in this crisis. But those unfortunately out of work are struggling right now. While employers are out of work, their managers are still getting all the pay.

Freshman Gichera Loman of New Jersey is looking forward to playing basketball this winter for her college team. Photo courtesy of Gichera Loman

And with this crisis happening on money, we are relying on our lying president. President Trump says that he plans on sending out $1,200 to every citizen that is in need in this predicament right now. Ways that we can help with this is hoping that Trump sends out that $1,200 to citizens so that they are able to get food and other important essentials.

Bills, bills, bills. Citizens have mail piling up and they are all bills and for these citizens they aren’t even able to pay. They can’t pay their mortgage, rent, electricity bill, phone bill, all the bills you can think of, these people aren’t able to pay. We need to provide ways, like having employers work from home instead of just waiting it out. Even if we are not able to provide home work we can come together and have fundraisers or food drives to help families in need. Children and homes. This is a big concern for me. For kids that have to be home now  during quarantine, they can be in danger. Kids that had to go to school can’t even go to school no more because they were with their abusive parents and school was their only safe place. And I know because I have a friend that is currently in this situation. She calls to try to always get out the house she is in because she feels as though she is not safe around her father. school was a safe place for her. So for kids in this situation what we can do is provide them a hotline or somebody they can talk to. Not only should we provide them someone to talk to but we should also make arrangements where they can stay with a friend or another family member or just someone that is able to take care of them until they are able to find a safe environment.

There are so many impacts and effects that this virus is causing. But these are the top three on my list that we really need to do something about. With some schools shut down for the rest of the semester, to employees being unemployed and not being able to provide for themselves and others, to kids feeling unsafe in their own home. We need to really come together and – with the suggestions that I have made to how we can solve these situations – take some action to help people, especially the ones most impacted, like me.

Gichera Rossie Loman, is 19 years old and currently a freshman in college at Rowan College At Burlington County majoring in biology. She wants a career in the medical field as a pediatrician for kids because she loves kids and helping others out. She’s currently taking classes to be in the nursing program and lives with her foster mom and dad, Brenda and David Mortimore. She has lived with them for six years and they have helped her with everything she needs. Loman loves to play basketball and plays for her school’s basketball team. She wasn’t able to play last year due to having surgery so her first season on the college level will be this winter. She also enjoys writing.

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