Already an ALP Client? Use your existing email and we'll find your ALP account.
Amber Clingman was a standout high school student. She was a varsity cheerleader, class president, and member of the Key Club. Her 4.0 grade point average placed her in the National Honor Society, and she graduated at the top of her class. But her experience at home was a world away.
After years of moving around and family instability, Amber and her younger brother entered foster care when she was in 9th grade. She was granted independent living status at age 17 before aging out of the foster care system. Because she had completed the majority of her high school and Advanced Placement credits in three years, she spent most of her senior year working, maintaining her own apartment, and attending parent/teacher conferences on her brother's behalf.
Today, Amber is a Family Recruiter for Operation Forever Family, a Bethany Christian Services initiative to find loving foster and adoptive families for teens. She works closely with five teen girls in foster care, working to connect them with families and helping them navigate this uncertain time in their lives.
"Others have learned it, but I have lived it," she says, finding that her difficult past creates a natural rapport with the girls, facilitating trust and open conversations. She shares her story with the girls as someone who has walked in their shoes and can help them envision a promising future.
Amber is currently pursuing a degree in social work from Grand Valley State University, and she hopes to one day design new options for teens living in residential programs.
Join moderator Leah Bloom, LMFT, a faculty member at the Chicago Center For Family Health and an adult internationally...