Although there may be certain stereotypes surrounding youth in foster care, the truth is that foster children are just like any other child. They may face some unique challenges growing up, but every child has challenges they need to overcome. Since foster care alumni look and talk just like everyone else, FosterMore decided to shed light on some professional athletes, celebrities and well-known iconic figures that were in foster care as a child. These people all started out as a child with a dream and they were lucky enough to be surrounded by a loving support system that encouraged them to succeed and thrive.
Before he started his professional football career, Colin Kaepernick was recruited to play pro baseball with the Chicago Cubs but kindly declined and continued playing football at the University of Nevada. Kaepernick then began his pro-football career in 2012 and since then has set an NFL record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a game, among numerous other records and achievements. Who would have known after being born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and being adopted as the youngest of three siblings, Kaepernick would go on to achieve such greatness?
Edward Regan Murphy better known as Eddie Murphy takes on many roles as an American comedian, actor, writer, singer, and director. As a Golden Globe recipient and the 4th highest grossing actor in the US, Murphy has shown that he knows how to be successful in the entertainment industry. Born and raised in Brooklyn, after spending a year in foster care with his brother following the death of his parents, Eddie Murphy rose above challenges and proved that someone in foster care can have dreams and the ability to succeed.
Ice T, also known as Tracy Morrow, became obsessed with rap when he was only in high school. He has branched out from simply rapping and now owns his own record label, book, and is also an accomplished actor. At a young age his parents were taken from him in a tragic car accident and with no family able to care for him he was sent to foster care. Making the most out of everything presented to him in life, Ice T has gone on to be a successful artist, actor, and father.
Alonzo Harding Mourning is his name and basketball is his game. At age 10 Mourning’s home life became tough. With his parents’ relationship on the rocks, he did not feel comfortable so it was arranged that he would live in a home with a family friend who had lots of experience with foster children. With his foster mother’s guidance and encouragement Alonzo led his high school basketball team to a state championship, played college ball for Georgetown, and then played alongside the Dream Team in the 2000 Olympics. He is a seven-time NBA All-Star and one of the most charitable sports stars in the country.
Steve Jobs, a global innovator, entrepreneur, and design driven pioneer, who revolutionized technology and the world with Apple computers, iPods, and Pixar was born out of wedlock and given up for adoption in the 50s. Jobs met his biological sister, author Mona Simpson, and in 1997 he described her as “one of my best friends in the world”. A mischievous free spirit as a boy, by age 30 Jobs was a multimillionaire.
Bill Cosby was so impressed by Victoria Rowell’s talent in The Cosby Show he decided to cast her in his own movie, Leonard 6. Rowell then went on to star in several big screen productions before founding The Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan. This actress, advocate, mother, former foster child, and author of a New York Times best seller showed us that nothing should hold us back from reaching our true potential.
Daunte Culpepper was discovered by a football recruiter at the University of Central Florida who then helped him to secure a spot at the university, where he was later drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. Originally born to a teenage mother who was serving time for armed robbery, his foster mother changed his life and he speaks very highly of her saying, “She’s a very, very special lady. Remarkable. Strong. Everything you’d want in a mother. In a parent.”
Tony and Emmy award winner Kristen Chenoweth knows how to act and sing but does not know where she got it from. Earning many awards in theater and television, she did not stop there but also went on to write a memoir. After being adopted and finding her forever home, Chenoweth realized that she is so grateful for the family that adopted her and the childhood she received.
As founder and CEO of Wendy’s, Dave Thomas not only knows how to put together a great burger but also shows support for foster youth through his work as a philanthropist. Just 6 weeks after he was born he was adopted and at the young age of 12 in Knoxville, Tennessee but his new family was able to provide the love and support that was needed. Thomas began his first gig in a restaurant called the Regas Restaurant, then moved on to the head chef position at a local KFC, and finally opened his own chain of restaurants. Where would Dave Thomas be today if he was not raised by his incredible adoptive parents Rex and Auleva Thoma?
Transformers, Armageddon, and Pearl Harbor would be nothing without Michael Bay. But then again, Michael Bay would be nothing without his adoptive parents Harriet and Jim. From a young age he was interested in film and special effects and his adoptive parents encouraged him to follow his passion. It was a long road of hard work and persistence from shooting with his mother’s 8 millimeter camera to directing and producing films which grossed over $5 billion worldwide.
Playing 22 years in the MLB, Babe Ruth started his career in the minor league in 1914 and after moving to the Major league, he shortly became the starting left hand pitcher for the Boston Red Socks. Babe Ruth then went on to create a name for himself becoming an iconic figure in American baseball and ater became one of the first inductees in the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, before the home runs, Ruth was just an energetic troublemaker born into a family of 8 children. He was sent to boarding school at a young age and adopted by monks who were the first to encourage him to play baseball. The rest is history!
Discovering at age nine that she was adopted, Sarah McLachlan could have turned to anger but instead she turned to her passion of music. Her high school yearbook claimed she was “destined to become a famous rock star,” so its clear that even at a young age people could recognize her talent. Signing with an independent record label in Canada led to critical and commercial success for the musician and her multiple records.
Faith Hill was born in Mississippi and adopted as an infant. Luckily her adoptive parents, encouraged her passion for music and helped her succeed in the music industry. Today she is a proud recipient of several Country Music Awards and has a star-studded husband to help her take care of their 3 wonderful children.
Academy Awards, Grammy, and Golden Globe recipient, Jamie Foxx is not just your average celebrity. Born in Texas and raised by adoptive parents, from a young age, Jamie Foxx never went without the love and support of a mother or father, but it wasn’t the typical mother/father dynamic. He was put into the care of his grandparents as an infant and he attributes much of his success to the love, care and encouragement of his grandmother.
The story began for Harry Potter on the Dursley’s doorstep November 1st, 1981. Defeating Voldemort, fighting against a troll and winning, & then going on to win The Triwizard Tournament are just a few of Harry’s accomplishments. Dropped on the doorstep of 4 Privet Drive, Harry’s first years were a little rough but under the guidance of Albus Dumbledore, Harry turned into a very well respected gentleman to achieve great things.