Each year, Adoption-Share chooses an ambassador to be the face of our #adoptionisbeautiful campaign. We are pleased to announce our 2016 Adoption is Beautiful Ambassador is Miss Texas US International, Shelby Patrice Jenkins.
Shelby Patrice Jenkins was born in Miami, Florida. Her biological mother was unable to care for Shelby so she left her at a caregiver’s home when she was only a few months old. The caregiver sought help at a food stamp office in Miami but eventually Shelby was taken to the crisis center where she was soon put into the foster care system. This is when adoption saved Shelby’s life. At 19 months old, Shelby was adopted by Gregory and Patrice Jenkins. She admits how blessed she is to have been adopted by such an incredible family who truly loved her and created an amazing childhood.
At 10 years old, Shelby’s adoptive parents told her that she was adopted. At the time, Shelby did not want to share her story because of fears of other children not understanding her situation or looking at her differently. These fears carried on through college until an opportunity arose for Shelby to share her story during a pageant competition at Kentucky State University. It was on the pageant stage that Shelby found her voice, releasing with every spoken word, years of fear and shame. After sharing her story for the first time, Shelby found more then her voice, she discovered an under-represented platform to champion adoption for children in foster care, and a calling to equip children in foster care with opportunities to fulfill their dreams.
Among her many future aspirations is a dream to combine her passion for the fine arts and advocacy for foster children through an innovative education program that equips children in foster care with the skill sets needed in finding their own voice, sharing their own story, and celebrating the unique talents and gifts they possess.
Shelby believes every child deserves a chance, and for the 107,000 children who are waiting to be given a chance at having a place to call home and people to call family, she is eager to serve as our 2016 Ambassador to capture and share stories about adoption.
Read her full story here.