Dawn Teo is ranked #18 of 69

Arizona foster care is decades behind. I am organizing Arizonans to stand up and give these abused and neglected children a chance. @dawnteo

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My political story

I quit working 5 years ago to be a stay at home mom. Our plan was to adopt from foster care. We had no idea how backwards the Arizona foster care system is. Arizona foster care is truly decades behind other states. From shoddy investigations to poor medical and mental healthcare, every step of the foster care journey in Arizona is broken. Federal laws are ignored. Basic human rights are violated. We can no longer sit by as a society and let these children be invisible. A group of us founded Foster Children's Rights Coalition, and we are organizing Arizonans to help these children. We have made headway with garnering both local and national media coverage. We need to do much more.

Why I deserve a Netroots Nation Scholarship

We put all of our money into the kids who we have taken in our family and the rest into Foster Children's Rights Coalition to build awareness, organize new activists, and put pressure on the Arizona state government to make change. We are organizing and training former foster children, foster parents, mental health professionals, social workers, and others who have never participated in political advocacy, and we need to come to Netroots Nation to learn more, to become more effective, to help these children who so desperate need people to stand up for their rights.

What first inspired me to get involved

After I quit working 5 years ago to adopt from foster care and become a stay at home mom, I completely disconnected myself from politics to focus on my children. But 5 months ago, when I adopted my 17 year old daughter from foster care, she implored me to do something to change the system for the foster children still there. I could not ignore her pleas after seeing the trauma the system had inflicted on her. She inspires and motivates me every day with her tenacity and drive for helping the foster children she left behind.

The blog post I am most proud of

I'm most proud of the blog post that I wrote about my daughter who we adopted at age 17 in November. After spending nearly a decade in foster care, she only had one question, why I hadn't done something to change things for youth in foster care. She decided she wanted to make a video about foster care, creating a visual of what 17,000 kids in Arizona foster care looks like. I wrote on Huffington Post about her shoe drive that is so much more than just a shoe drive.

More about my political involvement

When I began doing foster care, I needed to focus my time on my children, and I became inactive in politics. I thought I was done. However, I cannot sit still and watch the injustices done to these children. Now, I am back, working harder than ever with my 17-year-old daughter who we adopted 5 months ago at my side inspiring me.

If I could design a bumper sticker it would say:

Foster children's rights are not optional.

I am a

Grassroots Activist