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ISF Student / Ryan D.

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Ryan Dollinger.fwRyan D.

Hometown:  Beaumont, TX

Attending school:  Lamar University

Major:  Social Work

Ryan entered the foster care system at the age of 12. He was first placed in an emergency shelter, bounced to a residential treatment center, and finally placed in a group home in where he would stay until he aged out of the system at age 18. He was separated from his siblings and he often thought to himself “I wonder if my brother & sister will remember who I am.”

Although Ryan had a difficult time in foster care he did not let that stop him from making a difference. He has dedicated most of his free time serving on boards and committees in Texas to make some real changes. Ryan is involved on the local, state and national levels in his advocacy work. He has presented at workshops, participated in keynote speeches, provided training & technical assistance to child welfare professionals and organized blood drives and fundraisers.

Ryan is currently attending Lamar University and is planning on obtaining his bachelor degree in Social Work with a Masters in Public Administration. His long term goal is to go to Law School. With his education he hopes to give back to his brothers and sisters who are following his footsteps through the foster care system. “My experience in foster care was not good at all, but I learned to move on and make the best of it because you’re not going to get anywhere complaining about your situations, you have to do something about them.”

Recently Ryan was recognized in CASA’s Be A Face campaign.  To read Ryan’s story, click here.