Graduate Spotlight: Amber, Indiana State University
At age 7, Amber was placed in foster care along with her five siblings. Amber and her sisters went to a group home and were separated from her brothers for two years. Never having the opportunity to reunite with her biological parents, all six children were eventually fostered and then adopted by a family friend.
In those 14 years, Amber has overcome the loss of her biological father and adopted mother, physical and emotional pain, including an ulcerative colitis diagnosis, and spent much of her freshman and sophomore years of high school at Riley Hospital, where she struggled to balance school. Determined to succeed, Amber raised her 0.25 GPA to a 2.5 and qualified for 21st Century Scholars to attend college at Indiana State University in the Fall of 2016. Before beginning college, Amber joined The Villages Older Youth Services and Independent Living Program.
With a passion to help others, Amber graduated Cum Laude, in May 2020, with a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in Public Health. Some of her proudest accomplishments while in college included being crowned Royal Sycamore in 2019, induction into Gamma Sigma Alpha and becoming a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
“Being in foster care, the loss of my family and my diagnosis have had a huge impact on my life and made me the unique individual I am today. If I could change anything… I wouldn’t change a thing because I believe everything happens for a reason. Although I may never know that reason I know it was God’s plan. I am now a graduate of Indiana State University and a graduate student at Indiana University in Bloomington. I will pursue my Masters in Public health in hopes to continue my education and become Dr. Drake.”
Amber is one of many success stories we are proud to share at The Villages. Help us continue to provide opportunities for the children we serve to create their own success stories. Learn more here.