Julia Charles, a former foster youth, spending ten years in the system, Julia Charles is no stranger to the lasting effects of life in the child welfare system. As a result, she has spent the earlier part of her adulthood advocating for foster youth through her work as a volunteer, speaker, and author. Julia is a graduate of Bennett College (2008), where she finished with a BA in English. She holds an MA in English and African American Literature from North Carolina A&T State University (2010), as well as an MA in African American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass) (2012). Julia recently completed her doctoral degree in African American Studies from UMass. It is her hope that her academic endeavors will encourage current foster youth to see higher education as an option for creating a successful life after foster care. Her book, Surviving the Storm: The Life of a Child Foster Care, is an easy-to-read, personal journey of the author's life in foster care. It includes an appendix of guided reading questions for social workers, care-providers, foster parents, and foster youth in order to help them consider broader questions about life in the foster care system.