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Kenny get’s ready to mix with the boys at his new home. First trip to the dinning hall. Go Kenny!
Kenny promotes National Action Figure Day in an interview.
If I had five minutes to talk to a kid entering foster care, here’s what I’d say to them. And if I could talk with them every day, I’d go over these things with them again and again. But I can’t. So I wrote them down. Please share. Thanks, Ken
This pocket-guide offers easy tips, which are often overlooked, for success in the foster care system and beyond. Drawing on his past experiences as a system kid, Mr. Marteney, offers insightful advice on how a few simple actions can have a huge impact on a foster child’s experience in the system.
Ken Marteney is a third-generation foster kid from the Los Angeles area, having lived in foster homes, boys’ homes, and group homes. After successfully navigating the system, Ken worked his way around the globe traveling as far east as England and as far west as Hawaii.
He’s a normal guy that just happened to have grown up in extraordinary circumstances. He is passionate about kids not only surviving, but thriving while in foster care.
Ken feels like he’s won the lottery every day. He currently resides in Texas, happily married with three kids.
I was the kind of foster kid that would stand with you till the end if you were my friend.
Even if it meant standing up to someone bigger, we would both get beat up together.
Even if it meant going AWOL to see some family, I would go with you.
When family members let you down, I would be the one to say dude why do you think we’re here.
I was the kid that would introduce you to everyone when you were new.
I was the kid that would always show you around school.
I was also the kid that would incite a riot.
I was one of those kids that was never quiet.
I was one of those kids that had a knack for getting out of jams.
I was one of those kids that was never really sad.
I always figured out a way of having fun.
That’s what got me through the system.
One of my many placements was MacLaren Hall, Los Angeles county’s hell hole. I spent over a year there — and I still have no complaints.
I was in there when the staff could put their hands on you. Give you a little wall to wall counseling.
I saw my fair share of solitary, known as Room One, where you’re stripped down to your underwear with just a mat in an eight by eight room and the bright lights never go out.
My system ride was no picnic.
It was like a wave of violence and dysfunction in an ocean of despair.
I say keep your eyes open, don’t turn your back on that wave. It will crush you.
Paddle out to it and surf it.
Look at it as an adventure.
You’ll come out less beat up in the end.
It is amazing how a simple conversation can inspire.
It’s amazing how the digital world can take that inspiration and spread it all over the globe.
Being a former system kid, I thought about what I would tell a kid currently in the system.
I want them to know not only how to survive but how to thrive in foster care.
I put it on paper Thursday.
Revised it Friday and Saturday.
Published it Monday.
It will be ready for distribution in a couple of days.
It only cost a thought but will benefit so many.
The digital world has brought down the gate keepers.
I want to thank my digital community.
I want to thank all the people who post.
I want to thank all the people who like and comment.
If it wasn’t for the spark from you this idea would never have ignited.
Thanks for your support.
This is what the explosion looks like.
Stand tall my little ones
It’s not your fault
After surviving the lies
Don’t be afraid to look others in the eyes
Stand tall when those about you fall
Speak for the weak
Screaming their stories from the highest peak
I will listen for your call
You’re not alone
Last night at my oldest son’s football game a retired soldier was acknowledged in the stadium.
The announcer spoke of all the battles he had endured and all the accommodations he had received.
It made me think of all the kids that made it through foster care.
Some had cushy posts but most survived a war zone surrounded by the enemy for many years.
Think of the accommodations and medals they would receive.
Most of the battles these kids survived would make any soldier weep.
My hat goes off to these heroes.
Be proud you made it through the system.
I know I am.