Twenty-three-year-old Keena Armstrong is getting ready for graduation. With most students looking for jobs , she plans to immediately become a foster parent.
“I feel that if I go away and don’t give back, that will be very selfish of me,” said Armstrong. But her motivation to give back comes from her own past. Armstrong went into foster care at the age of 11 and experienced verbal and physical child abuse.
“In my third foster home is where I would say I almost died and I ended up running away,” she said.
Armstrong says often had blistered lips and bruises and other physical signs of abuse.
According to Child Help, over 3 million reports of child abuse are made yearly. And with April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, one local organization is brining awareness.
All around Tallahassee, blue and silver pinwheels can be spotted in front of stores and near sidewalks. Called pinwheels for prevention, The Ounces Foundation of Florida spearheads this campaign, which encourages the community to support creating better environments for children.
“It focuses on efforts anyone can take part in that help build protective factors around our families,” said Lonnie Parizek, communications director for the Ounces Foundation.
Now with graduation right around the corner, Armstrong says she looks forward to preventing child abuse.
“It’s a good opportunity to be a foster parents or to enrich someone’s life.”
And she looks forward to preventing child abuse in her own special way.
“My motives are all genuine because it happened to me and I don’t want it to happened to anyone else,” said Armstrong.
To learn more ways to prevent child abuse or to report child abuse, call 1800-96-Abuse.