Cornelius Richard Parker is a former youth in care who has faced and overcome a lot of obstacles throughout his life. Originally from Ottawa, he came to Toronto to play soccer and fell in love with the city. Gifted with the ability to play soccer at a high level, he travelled to eight countries and all over the United States and Canada with the support of the Children’s Aid Society. He graduated from Bill Crothers Secondary, a high school for high performance athletes, in 2015 and went to York University for Social Work, later switching to Communication and Media Studies. He graduated from Carleton University in 2020 and will be furthering his education at Humber College in Child and Youth Care. It’s been his dream to shine some light on the care experience – the good, the bad and what needs to be fixed. He aims to remove the stigmas of the foster care system, which prevent youth from reaching their full potential in life. He also wants every youth in and out of care to know that they belong and have something special to offer and give to the world. Being in foster care shouldn’t define a person in any aspect of their life and Richard uses his platform to promote education, experience and truth. The end goal is to reach as many youth as possible with his voice to amplify theirs. They need to be heard and given the opportunity to shine within the community. Richard uses his personal experience to support any youth with a dream, because there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
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