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'Michelle's Story' video promoting permanency earns international Omni Award

'Michelle's Story' video promoting permanency earns international Omni Award

“Michelle’s Story,” a seven-minute video promoting permanency for foster youths, has earned an international Omni Award.

The video – it can be viewed at FamilyDesign.org/Michelle – received silver recognition in the nonprofit category. The Omni Awards honor outstanding achievements in film/video, web and mobile media.

The video, which debuted in May 2015, is the result of collaboration between Family Design Resources Inc. and JPL, one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest full-service marketing agencies.

A Lancaster County native, Michelle Nauman-Brown (photo above) was placed into foster care at age 2, separated from her two half-siblings. The video describes how she lived in 28 foster homes, six group homes, even a six-month boot camp.

She endured her mother’s death in a workplace accident, a failed adoption and a general sense of not belonging to anyone or any place. She left foster care without achieving permanency and ultimately ended up homeless with two young children.

Now happily married, Michelle shares her story and the lessons she learned from it while representing Family Design Resources as a youth advocate.

Each year, approximately 1,000 Pennsylvania youths exit the foster care system without achieving a form of permanency. They are not reunited with their birth families or adopted, often leaving them with nowhere to go and no one to turn to for support.

Without permanency, foster youths are at greater risk for homelessness, addiction, teen pregnancy, incarceration.