Who is Inspiring Author Gino Medeiros?
In a world full of uncertainty and challenges, there are individuals who rise above their circumstances and become beacons of inspiration. Gino Medeiros, the acclaimed author and foster care youth advocate, is one such extraordinary soul. His powerful voice, echoing the experiences of countless foster children, has not only touched hearts but also ignited a pressing dialogue about the realities faced by those in the foster care system. With his thought-provoking books and tireless advocacy work, Gino has empowered foster youth to emerge from the shadows, ensuring that their stories are heard and their voices are finally given the recognition they deserve.
Gino Medeiros' journey from a troubled childhood to a successful author is nothing short of remarkable. Growing up in the foster care system himself, he faced numerous challenges and setbacks. However, instead of allowing his circumstances to define him, Gino used these hardships as motivation to create change. Through his writing, he sheds light on the often overlooked and misunderstood world of foster care, bringing awareness to the struggles and triumphs of those who have lived through it.
With his new book "Broken Boy," Gino Medeiros is breaking down barriers and challenging societal perceptions of foster care youth. His words resonate with readers, leaving a lasting impact on their minds and hearts. Beyond his literary achievements, Gino's advocacy work has been instrumental in creating positive change for foster children. Through mentorship programs and support networks, he empowers young individuals to believe in themselves and strive for a brighter future.
Join us as we delve into the captivating world of Gino Medeiros, a man who is reshaping the narrative around foster care youth and making an indelible impact on our society. Through his words and actions, he is not only a source of inspiration but also a catalyst for change, proving that no matter the circumstances, one can rise above and create a better world.
Can you briefly describe your experience as a foster care youth advocate and how it influenced your decision to become an author?
This is a loaded question! LOL! In a word: horrific, at best. The challenges that I faced in my young life were difficult to explain and harder to comprehend as an adult. I have always had a “knack” for writing. My 7th and 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Montgomery, taught me that writing is a powerful tool. Ultimately, I decided to start writing as a way to process through the trauma of my early years.
2. What inspired you to write a book specifically targeted towards foster care youth?
The book started as a way to process through and heal from the trauma of my childhood. Through fostering and adopting my first children, I came to understand that there was a significant amount of power to my story that I believe will help those currently in the system. Children currently in the system need to know that they are not alone and they will be ok. When I was a child, there was no way that I could see that life was worth living. I never believed that I would find a place in the world. I was wrong! Children currently suffering need to know that they will be ok and they can find and build a happy life!
3. In your book, what key messages or themes do you aim to share with readers?
Perseverance! Never give up! That goes not only for the children, but for those that care for them. Even under normal circumstances, raising children is not for the faint of heart! It’s the hardest job you’ll ever have. Raising a child that has suffered through unimaginable trauma, takes a commitment that many people don’t fully understand. I share my story in so much detail because I want the reader to understand that each and every person that comes into the life of a child has the power to change their life. Be that person!
4. How did your own personal experiences in foster care shape the content of your book?
As a memoir, it is my life so it was my life experiences that shaped the content.
5. What do you hope readers, particularly foster care youth, will take away from reading your book?
Resilience is powerful. There is always hope, when you feel so weak that you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, try to channel other’s belief in you. You won’t get to where you want to be on your own. Allow others to help. Don’t be “proud.” Find your tribe and remember that there is always a path to light. You will know when you have found the person (or people) that are your family.
6. How do you think your book can serve as a resource for foster care professionals and advocates?
It is my sincere hope that my story will open people’s eyes to the reality of what is happening right in front of their eyes. Voluntarily stepping into the system is something that I believe people should do with a full a clear picture of reality. Understand that, unless you’ve been through it, you can never truly understand what we, as foster children, have almost always been through. We have seen things that you can never possibly comprehend. Be patience and offer unconditional support with no expectations. Much easier said than done, but I have learned that the last thing a traumatized child needs is to have a parent subconsciously project their trauma onto them. That was the biggest unintentional mistake that I made as a foster parent.
7. What were some of the challenges you faced while writing your book, and how did you overcome them?
Life! It’s taken me nearly 20 years to finish it. There always seemed to be one thing or another that took priority. It wasn’t until my mom’s health started declining that I really felt ready to move forward. I had written everything up to the point where my mom came into my life and suddenly stopped. It sat for years. My mom really encouraged me to finished it prior to her death. I found that writing about how she came into my life and how she changed it, helped me care for her during her journey with Alzheimer’s/dementia. By writing about the person she was, I was able to see passed the person she was becoming. It really helped!
8. Can you briefly discuss any future projects or initiatives you have planned to further support foster care youth and advocate for their needs?
I am currently in the process of working with the foundation that now runs one of the facilities I was in several times as a child. I think my story can make a huge difference in how people see the system. Even with its many flaws, for many, it is the only thing that gives them a fighting chance. My book doesn’t talk a lot about the difficulties I faced as a young adult and I did that intentionally. I wanted the book to be targeted towards the struggles of a child. I plan to make my next book about the challenges I faced as I stumbled into adulthood and how I managed to find my way.
9. Finally, how can readers and the public support your work and contribute to improving the lives of foster care youth?
Get involved! Educate yourselves. There is far less stigma now than there was when I was growing up. They can visit my website at www.ginomedeiros.com and add their name to the contact page. I plan to utilize my website as a tool to give people more information on the topic, not just to promote my book.
I was fortunate enough to have a community that rallied around me when things got really tough. Be part of that community. Buy an extra sweatshirt for one of the kids on the team that one of your kids might be one. I still do that every year even though our kids are all grown. It’s very easy to contact a local school and be put in touch with a parent that is involved with the sports program. Our youngest child had someone step up for him prior to his time with us. A mom saw that he didn’t have the money for a football sweatshirt so she just paid for it with no fanfare. When my husband and I got involved we did the same thing. She called me in tears to tell me what she had done when she got our check. We always made a point of paying double for whatever was required to have our son in any sports program. We wanted to teach him that it was his turn to pay it forward. The smallest of gestures have the ability to have an impact that lasts a lifetime!
Our Final Thoughts:
Gino Medeiros is a beacon of hope and resilience, his actions paving the way for a brighter future for the foster care youth community. As an author, activist, and advocate, Gino's dedication to raising awareness and effecting change has been nothing short of remarkable. Through his books, he has artfully crafted stories that shatter stereotypes and expose the harsh realities faced by children in foster care. By lending his voice to those who have been silenced for far too long, Gino has given them the courage to speak their truth and demand a better world. As we bid farewell to this enlightening interview, let us remember the powerful words of Gino Medeiros: "It's time to listen, understand, and take action. Together, we can rewrite the narrative and provide foster youth with the love, support, and opportunities they deserve."