Tonight's special guest is Viktoria Rosqvist from Portland, Oregon, abused at the hands of her stepfather as a young child until she turned him in to the police when she was 14. Around that same time, her biological father committed suicide and Viktoria grew distant from the rest of her family. Victoria writes, "I went into foster care and quickly moved from home to home to home." She describes how her early childhood traumas resulted in living constantly in survival mode, acting out, and fighting with caregivers who labeled her “too needy,” “eating too much,” “too mouthy,” or “too standoffish.” Finally she was placed where the caregivers didn't brush her off due to behaviors that are normal for kids who have been through trauma and grief. When these foster parents didn't give up on her, she found stability for the first time in her life. With their support, Viktoria became active in foster youth advocacy, and now at only age 19 she is already doing impressive work for multiple organizations including Oregon Trauma Advocates Coalition, the Oregon Foster Youth Connection, and the United for Kids Gubenatorial Forum Leadership Council. Viktoria's message is, "It's still a struggle for me to switch off that fight-or-flight reflex I've lived with for so long, but now I stop and enjoy the little things in life a lot more than I ever thought possible." Please join us tonight and offer a warm welcome and support to our new NAASCA family member, Viktoria, as she shares her story with us for the first time.
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