If 13-year-old Zach could have any three wishes in this world, his list would not include a smart phone, a video game system or any kind of electronics. Though he'd love any of those things, Zach's three wishes include things a lot of kids take for granted: a family, a pet and some good friends.
Zach is optimistic his wishes will come true, and soon, since he only has five years left before he ages out of the system.
There couldn't have been a more perfect place to meet up with 13-year-old Zach, as his favorite subjects are history and science. And since we were at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, there were countless things to explore, which is exactly why Zach says he likes science so much.
Zach felt so comfortable in these surroundings, it was as if, he was hosting our playdate, excited to introduce me to the different exhibits.
"He is very mature, he's very intelligent, very engaging. He'll walk up to adults, start a conversation, very friendly," said Protective Services Worker Jamey McCormick. "I've noticed several times, he'll compliment people out of the blue, very caring."
Zach can only dream about the things he'd like to do with a mom and a dad:
"Bike ride, play catch. I am very good with electronics, so if they're setting up anything with electronics, I'd be in!"
Zach also loves animals. And when he grows up, he wants to work at an animal shelter or a zoo. But first, Zach wants a home and just how badly does Zach want a family?
"On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd say about a 10."
Right now, this eighth grader is living at an emergency children's shelter
"It's a little hard, but once you're there for about a week you get used to it and it's pretty fun," he said.
Always the optimist, Zach tries to make the most out of any situation.
"Well for me, I just, play it cool, everything's alright," Zach explained.
"He kind of takes it in stride, doesn't really dwell on it that much, but I know it definitely affects him," said McCormick.
What Zach deserves are parents to open their hearts and help guide him during these crucial adolescent years.
"I wish for, just a good home," he noted.
Zach doesn't even want to think about aging out of the system, turning 18 with no family to fall back on. He needs to find a home now.
"It's urgent. He's been here a while. He's been in the system, but they're circumstances that have been out of his control, and he's kind of just rolled with it. And he's pretty resilient, and I'm hoping that he'll find a match sooner than later," continued McCormick.
If you're interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.
To meet other children in foster care and discover how you can help restore their hope, please visit click here.
News 8 would also like to thank local photographer Lisa Tanner for providing the portraits you saw for the Heart Gallery.
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