Looking forward: Jocelyn Bolte focuses on her future

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Looking forward: Jocelyn Bolte focuses on her future

Senior Jocelyn Bolte is preparing to graduate in December. “I plan on going to Labette Community College. I plan to major in either psychology or social work,” Bolte said. “I want to show kids that are or will be in similar situations as me to look forward, not backward  and to look at all of the possible outcomes, along with setting goals for themselves.”

Senior Jocelyn Bolte is preparing to graduate in December. “I plan on going to Labette Community College. I plan to major in either psychology or social work,” Bolte said. “I want to show kids that are or will be in similar situations as me to look forward, not backward  and to look at all of the possible outcomes, along with setting goals for themselves.”

Lane Phifer

Senior Jocelyn Bolte is preparing to graduate in December. “I plan on going to Labette Community College. I plan to major in either psychology or social work,” Bolte said. “I want to show kids that are or will be in similar situations as me to look forward, not backward  and to look at all of the possible outcomes, along with setting goals for themselves.”

Lane Phifer

Lane Phifer

Senior Jocelyn Bolte is preparing to graduate in December. “I plan on going to Labette Community College. I plan to major in either psychology or social work,” Bolte said. “I want to show kids that are or will be in similar situations as me to look forward, not backward  and to look at all of the possible outcomes, along with setting goals for themselves.”

By Lane Phifer, Pittsburg High School

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It’s difficult to go through the everyday challenges that come with high school, but for senior Jocelyn Bolte keeping her grades up and getting to class on time haven’t always been her biggest issues.

Bolte became a foster child nine months ago after her mother moved to Michigan a month prior to Child Protective Services (CPS) being notified. However, this wasn’t the first time.

“I was 16 when it first started. She could go off for a few hours or a few days without us knowing. But this time, we had to fill out a missing person report before anyone contacted us,” Bolte said. “It was really hard when my Mom left, but after a while, I started to look forward to what can happen later on in life for me.”

After being pulled out of school for two hours in order for CPS to find Bolte a placement, her cousin Shawnna Stephenson took on the responsibility of becoming her foster Mom.

“When I first got in foster care I didn’t want to go to some random person’s house and I think being with Shawnna has calmed me down a lot,” Bolte said. “I’m with someone that I have known for years and that I’m comfortable with. Our relationship is pretty great and she’s one of the few people I can open up to.”

Our relationship is pretty great and she’s one of the few people I can open up to”

— Jocelyn Bolte

Four years ago, Bolte’s father also look himself out of the picture.

“Before he left, my dad was the breadwinner, he worked a full-time job while my Mom had a part-time one. He worked for a piping company and after he hurt his back at work, he was prescribed a medication to help with the pain. It started out as something so small and yet, it still had the power to change my life forever.”

Not long before her father left, Bolte and the rest of her family had to move due to the lack of money coming into the household.

“When my Dad lost his job, we had to move and since there was a waiting list, we were all separated until we could get an apartment. One of my older sisters and I stayed with a friend, while my Mom, Dad, and youngest sister stayed with my Grandma. It was rough, but my life changed completely once we moved into the apartments.”

One way that her life was altered, according to Bolte, is that her relationship with her father before he left became toxic and unsteady.

“We fought every day. There would be times where I would come home from school and he’d be sitting on the couch doing nothing. I would ask him to help my sisters and me around the house and he would make rude comments and pick fights with me. I hated every moment of it and I’m just grateful to be in a better situation now.”

I hated every moment of it and I’m just grateful to be in a better situation now.”

— Jocelyn Bolte

Although Bolte has gone through all of these things and more, she remains hopeful for the future.

One way that she does this is by planning to graduate this December with over 21 credits, which is the needed amount for students in foster care.

“I plan on going to Labette Community College. I plan to major in either psychology or social work,” Bolte said. “I want to show kids that are or will be in similar situations as me to look forward, not backward and to look at all of the possible outcomes, along with setting goals for themselves.”

This story was originally published on The Booster Redux on September 19, 2019.