Voice of a Young Voter: A Former Foster Youth Driven to Fix the System

Kashawna Williams

An estimated 46 million eligible voters in this year’s election are between 18 and 29 years old – part of the Millennial generation. Will those young voters sway the election? What issues do young people feel are important? What role do they think government should play in their lives?

KQED and three other public media organizations on the West Coast are exploring those questions in a series called “Voices of Young Voters.” We fanned out to college campuses around the Bay Area to hear from those who are just coming of age politically. Over the next few days we’ll share some of their stories.

Lillian Mongeau spoke to Kashawna Williams, an administrative justice major at Ohlone College in Fremont. She grew up in the foster system and says it needs fixing…

I just know that in this day and time, the only experience I have really, like, seen, has really been bad. Because I just seen a lot of like, shortages, in a lot of things that we need nowadays.

I’m emancipated foster youth, and even those sections from those things have been cut. So there’s a lot of things that they’re touching that people need out here to survive. And taking it from the people that need it and giving it to the people that don’t need it. Like, you know?
I had a major experience with back and forth to different homes and courts and trials. That’s why I’m majoring in administrative justice right now because I feel there’s something in that system that needs to be fixed. And I don’t know what it is. That’s why I’m studying to see, where is the shortage at?

Click play on the audio clip to hear Kashawna Williams