Former Knoxville foster child traveling to DC to meet with lawma

Former Knoxville foster child traveling to DC to meet with lawmakers

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Timothy Dennis spent six years in foster care. He is now part of the local Youth 4 Youth leadership board. Timothy Dennis spent six years in foster care. He is now part of the local Youth 4 Youth leadership board.
By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A local teenager is traveling to the nation's capital to meet with lawmakers about how to improve the foster care system.      

Timothy Dennis spent six years in foster care. He went to live with his babysitter permanently at age six and entered the system at age 12.

Previous story: Former foster child now recruiting foster parents for teens

"It was hard," said Dennis. "I went through a deep cutting phase and that kind of put over the edge to say, I conquered this now let's help somebody else who hasn't."

Now 19, Dennis is part of the local Youth 4 Youth leadership board. It's a support group for teens who've been in foster care.

"We've worked on surveys to kind of help them transition along with their foster parents and just little stuff like that to help make the transition much easier," said Dennis.

He's now getting the rare opportunity to help re-shape the system on a much larger scale. Dennis has been invited to speak with lawmakers in Washington D.C.

"We will have two days of training and then meet with congress and kind of discuss what went on in our lives in foster care and how we can help them to change it," said Dennis.

Dennis has struggled with secondary education and says it's one area he plans to request more help for foster kids. A big part of that he says will also come with more stable housing.

"Some of them age out of Department of Children's Services and literally have nowhere to go," said Dennis. "They're just kind of out on the streets."

Regardless of what comes of his trip, Dennis says his next step is to re-enroll in college in the mental health field. Just another way to help kids deal with the problems he once faced.

Dennis leaves next Tuesday and we're told his trip will include a special stop at the White House.

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