Tyler Bacon

Tyler Bacon

Brittany Hinkel, Reporter/Cartoonist

Tyler Bacon has proven to be nothing short of a modern day hero. Currently a student at Northeast Community College, Bacon has shown that one can truly prosper in life, no matter the cards that they have been dealt.

Bacon was put into the foster care system at age 13, after being given up by his parents.

He grew up in many different group homes until his 18th birthday, when he was forced to live on his own. Tyler Bacon did not get the ordinary, care-free child’s life that most people take for granted.

“I’ve had abuse to the point where my life was on the line, [and when in the foster care system] I was told that adoption was not an option.”

During his high school years, Bacon was tormented just as he was at home. People assumed he did something wrong based solely on the premise that he did not have a family.

“People made fun of me because I didn’t have a mom or dad who loved me.”

Many stereotypes on foster youth have been formed. People assume that they are different, bad, or have behavioral problems or mental health issues.

“We shouldn’t be judged just because we had to be taken away.”

Of course, it would be absurd to assume that the reason for his lack of family could have been the iniquitous circumstances one is forced to face in life. It certainly could not be the revolting, vile way that some parents treat their own children. I’m sure it would also be far too daring to propose that foster youth are regular people who just have been put through difficult situations. Obviously these stereotypes come from people with a great deal of knowledge on the subject.

However, Bacon did not let these terrible situations keep him from being successful, “Use these situations to better the world; no one else should have to go through that.”

Tyler Bacon started advocating for foster youth at age 16, beginning the series of numerous generous and benevolent deeds. He served on a local youth board for the district he lived in.

He became president of the State of Florida Youth Advocacy Board, and later, vice president of the National Foster Youth Advocacy Council.

Bacon is passionate about his work, “My main purpose is not to put the spotlight on me, but to help those in the foster care systems.”

He has also testified before congress to create new bills to better the foster care system, been on CNN, and won the Outstanding Leader Award.

Yet, Bacon does not define his success today by the awards he has won or money he has made, but by the lives he has changed, and has yet to change. His work to better improve the foster care system is never done.

The positive message that Bacon has spread and will keep spreading to, not only foster youth, but everyone else is: “No matter how many people give up on you, you can’t give up on yourself.”

It is the belief of Tyler Bacon that with an attitude like that, “You can accomplish anything you put your mind and heart to.”