"I am glad that I became a foster parent. It is not an easy job, but it is a rewarding job with many blessings!
I am so glad that I joined WIN to be a foster parent to help kids in need. I have been a foster parent with WIN Family Service for 5 years. I have had a great experience with WIN. I have learned so much from the WIN staff as to how to deal with kids that are in the foster care system. Before I became a foster parent I was not sure if this was something for me. I am a mother of 5 children whom I have raised. I currently have in my home a 12 year old foster daughter who has lived with me for 3 1/2 years. I have had a total of 10 kids who have come through my home for respite and short term stay. logosmall
I have always had the support I have needed from whatever concerns I have had. What I like mostly about the monthly meeting is when we come together we listen to problems and issues that we are having with our children and there is always input from a staff member or a parent to possibly help with a solution. I have learned so much from these meetings. These meetings have also helped me understand my own kids when they are having issues.
I was really skeptical about becoming a parent at the time, I was not aware that Eva worked for WIN. We attended the same church and I talked to her [about the foster care program]. She gave me the information I needed for the classes and I still had to pray about it because I did not want to bring a child into my home and not be able to provide for his or her needs. Once I got through the classes and submitted all of my required documentation, I still was not sure, but once I got my first child it was smooth sailing. I am glad that I became a foster parent. No, it is not an easy job, but it is a rewarding job with many blessings."
- Margaret T., Foster Parent
"WIN changed my life.
I was selling drugs, stealing cars, wilding out on everyone, and transitioning through 22 foster homes. As a matter of fact, I was doing all of
that until they came along and showed me that someone cares. They CARED. Life was hard some times, but I would not be here if they did
not save my life.
This is why I always give back to the youth and I’ll be there whenever they need me. So, thank you Win Team, I'm on the winners’ side! This you can't deny, I'm on the winning side!Thank you to my mom, my brother, my sisters,and many more for not giving up on me. I love you all. You all saved my life. ”
-Michael J., Former Foster Youth
"They made me the woman I am today and I am so grateful to say they showed and proved the definition of a team.
WIN reconnected me with my family. My experience with the WIN Team began when I was about 14 years old. I was a troubled teenager who was going from foster home to foster home to group home and all! I was an emotional wreck, losing my mother at such a young age. I lashed out at everyone. I will never forget Mr. Moore-my big brother, Mrs. Nicole and Ms. Ayo came to greet me and introduced themselves when I first entered WIN Team. I was very standoffish, I really wasn’t ready for a change going through what I have been through, still with the mind frame set that these people don’t really care.
They proved me wrong! I was so defiant. I was so angry, lashing out at the wrong people – those who wanted to help me. They were so nice and pleasant. They let me know I could trust them, which was so hard for me to do. I gave them a run for their money.
What I’m trying to say is, that they worked so hard to change the way I was thinking and how I was feeling. They gave me so much love – not just one of them, ALL of them. I had different counselors, but a few stood out: Mrs. Katrina, Mr. Mark , Ms. Ayo, Mrs. Delvana and Mrs. T who played the role of everyone’s grandmother. These counselors stood by my side with every step I took. With the help of Mr. Al and his wife, I was placed in a wonderful home. They made sure I kept up with my appointments and they took us on various trips. It was so much more than a therapeutic foster home. It was a home with a family who cared and stuck by me when I had my child. They made sure we both were okay and they helped me out with independent living.
They made me the woman I am today and I am so grateful to say they showed and proved the definition of a team. You’re not getting one, you are getting all. To be a part of something so big is wonderful. I had my hard times, but they stood by my side and never left. I can still come home to where I knew it all started. I forever love them and appreciate what Mr. Al created with the help of his Team."
- Ariel, Former Foster Youth
"My fervor for working with challenging youths made me one of WIN’s most dedicated parents.
Originally from Saginaw, MI I got a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University. My major was English, Language, and Literature with Mathematics minor. I moved to Baltimore in 2000 to become a middle school Language Arts teacher with Baltimore City Public School System. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my Masters in Secondary Education in 2009 from Towson University. After teaching 6-10th grade English and Language Arts for 10 years, I became an English Adjunct Professor at Baltimore City Community College, BCCC. I am now a Student Success Specialist/Case Manager for the Academic Acceleration for African American Males (4A) Program.
In August of 2012 I faced my greatest challenge ever…I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectum Cancer. After doing two rounds of chemotherapy treatment, radiation, and having surgery I am blessed to be cancer free! The past 1 ½ years has proven to be an extremely difficult occurrence for me. Because of my permanent colostomy, I became extremely self-conscious, depressed, and ultimately suicidal. However, after 9 months of “living hell”, I woke up one day and the fog was clear, my cognitive functions were beginning to improve, and I decided to accept my NEW NORMAL.
I realize that my work here on earth is not yet done. So, I decided to continue my passion of working with students, education, loving on family and friends while writing a book and shooting a documentary to share my story. I am also starting a foundation called SO Shontee’. The foundation will be for minority children who have an ostomy. I will be able to show those children someone who looks like them while also providing books written by minority authors as well as pouch covers. I find reverence in two very personal scriptures from Jeremiah; 17:14 “Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” and 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
-Shontee McMillan, Foster Parent
"We are writing you to tell you how privileged we were to have had Ms. Pamela Scott as our Family Specialist from WIN. She was always on top of the job. Ms. Scott was extremely professional (in appearance, her voice, and actions), yet she had that personal touch. She was also extremely dependable. Ms. Scott was very knowledgeable about her job and was a very compassionate person with high people skills. Ms. Scott was just sheer joy to work with. We shall miss her terribly and the Onley boys will miss her as well. Though we'd hope to have her for much, much longer, we are most grateful for the time we did work together. We have had a few other very good workers for the boys before with various agencies, but no one ever as good as her. Ms. Scott was absolutely the best! WIN Family Services has a real gem with her. We just had to let you know from a foster parent's perspective, just how much we valued and appreciated her. We wish her the best in her future endeavors. God Bless."
-Mr. and Mrs. White, Foster Parents