Charell Star, storyteller, on-air correspondent, and advocate for foster youth.
Charell’s story did not start off as picture perfect but whose story does? With a mother in and out of rehab and a father in and out of jail, Charell found herself living with her great-grandmother and eventually in foster care with her younger sister.
“I don’t remember their names or where I was, but I do remember them being abusive,” says Charell as she recalls her first foster family. Charell and her sister like many other children bounced from house to house often unbeknownst and unprepared to be uprooted.
While in foster care Charell dealt with a thought most foster children face, “I’m here because I’ve done something wrong.” The truth that she now knows and wants to convey to every child is that youth end up in foster care because of neglect or abuse – i.e. the adults youth should be able to depend on have done something wrong. They should not blame themselves for the mistakes of others.
While her time in foster care was frustrating, scary and extremely hard it also played a large role in shaping her into the woman she is today. “Being in foster care taught me starting over is nothing to fear and failure doesn’t have to be finite.”
While the statistics of youth coming out of foster care are grim, Charell has gone on to be the first in her family to graduate from college, make a career for herself as the voice of “Not Just a Girl in a Dress” a highly popular lifestyle blog, an on-air correspondent for fashion, tech, and lifestyle trends, and marry the man of her dreams.
Now as a former foster care youth, Charell knows first hand the challenges facing the foster care population. She has been passionate about partnering with organizations, advocates, and brands that provide foster youth needed services, support, and encouragement over the years. She currently sits on the Board of CASA-NY and City Living NYC. Using her experience as a way to connect, Charell often travels to speak and inspire those who have faced adversity throughout their lives.
Learn more about the 2018 Fostering Strength event and purchase tickets HERE.