Marcus Montgomery with Svetlana Iachkova of Annenberg Foundation

UPDATE: Marcus Montgomery’s story can be found at the StoryCorps Archive.

Los Angeles, CAThe Annenberg Foundation invited Walden Family Services to participate in an activity with StoryCorps, which “shares humanities’ stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” Marcus Montgomery, a former foster youth, shared his insights and his goals for the future.

“My experience in foster care was very positive,” said 22-year old Marcus, who entered foster care at only eight months old. “I’ve received so much support and help from people.” As a Walden Family Services client, he participated in the Transitional Housing Program, which provided him with housing, extended foster care, and supportive services until he turned 21.

In his interview, Marcus spoke frankly about being a gender fluid individual and offered some advice to other LGBTQ youth in foster care: “Take your time,” Marcus said. “It’s easy to be in a rush to experience everything all at once–your sexuality, your independence, your career. But it seems like things work out best when you take it step by step.” Currently, Marcus is very focused on his career as a makeup artist. He works with MAC Cosmetics. His goal is to have his own makeup line in the future.

Marcus also offered these recommendations to those who want to support foster or former foster youth: “It is easy to feel isolated and that can be depressing. Keep those connections alive. We all need them.” Marcus commented that he is now able to enjoy the company of his family, but noted that not all foster youth are so lucky.

The StoryCorps activity is an interactive component of the “Not an Ostrich” exhibit, which runs through September 9, 2018 at Annenberg’s Space for Photography. Walden Family Services is grateful to Annenberg Foundation and StoryCorps for creating this opportunity. The Marcus Montgomery audio interview will be available soon.