My first night was scary. I'm like... to hear my voice, I was so nervous. Because an empty house, you could hear your voice echo. So like, my footstep, the sound of the heat... I was scared. 

But I did good. I slept. I got up. I went to work. My first evening in my apartment, I went to work the next day.

I was excited to open this new chapter to my life. I'm nervous as it begins. My heart pounds. Some days I'm thinking to myself, what am I doing? I need the sense of reassurance that people are here for me. But it's hard to believe that when I'm so stressed out.

But the first thing I did when I moved in was put my diploma up. I put my diploma on the bureau, and I look at it. The first thing I do in the morning, I look at it. Before I go to bed, I look at it. Before I even get up and tell myself, I don't want to go to school today. I'm tired. I don't want to deal with some of these professors. I look at it.

One of the biggest challenges I'm currently facing right now as we speak is that I am an immigrant applying for SNAP benefits. I didn't get accepted. I have to constantly keep going back. So I got stressed out. And I was just like, I can't do it. And I was like, you know what? I can't keep coming and applying and not getting approved, being this college student, working and going to school. That's a lot for one person. There's a lot of weights that weighs on my shoulders. And I sit back and think to myself that I need to work extra hard. It hurts me when I know that I have to work 10 times harder than any of my peers to be where I want to be. 

Right now it’s a real struggle. So I just apply for another job. So I'm going to have two jobs, a full time college student, and living by myself. Oh, wow. I don't know how I'm doing it, but somehow I get motivated every morning to get off my bed, to make the bed, to put my favorite song on as I brush my teeth and do my face routine. I'm doing it. But God damn it, it's hard.

Listen to the first part of Amelia’s story, recorded on her last night living in a foster home, here. We continue her story, as she starts to settle into this new stage in her life.