13-year-old Cinnamon in need of a forever family - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

13-year-old Cinnamon in need of a forever family

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Many teenagers in the foster system decline the option to be featured on adopt 8, because of the stigma of being a foster kid.

A lot of them tell me that kids at school make fun of foster kids for not having a home, so many try to keep their personal life a secret. But not one 13-year-old. Cinnamon says sharing her story on Adopt 8, for the chance of finding a forever family, is well worth the risk of any classmates learning she's a foster child.

Cinnamon entered the system when she was 10 years old and is having to start the transformation from a girl to a young woman in a group home.

“I would like a nice mom, a nice dad, and probably other kids maybe,” said Cinnamon.

“I feel like it's an extremely crucial time for her because I want her to go into these next years, these formative years, where she'll be deciding where she wants to go to college and where she wants to live and potentially, god bless her heart, picking a boyfriend and stuff like that, so I want her to be with a family that can support her in those decisions and help her make the right ones,” explained protective services worker Cecil Ashley.

Cinnamon is already making an impression everywhere she goes. The Boys and Girls Club of San Diego County named her the 2014 Youth of the Year.

“The award was, you write a letter, about yourself and everything and your family,” continued Cinnamon.

Being a tween, is difficult enough with the support of a family, so imagine what's it's like for Cinnamon with no place to call home - no mom or dad to go to for guidance.

“Exactly, I remember when I was that age, and trying to make certain decisions and getting advice, and not knowing if this time next year, you might not be in the same home, that has an effect on a kid,” Ashley continued.

But despite Cinnamon's hardships, her social worker says she is the one often offering others comfort.

“Her teachers have really great things to say about her being a support system for the other students,” Ashley said. “And just given her current circumstances, you can really tell she has a good understanding of where she's at and what she wants from life, and she's optimistic she'll be able to get those things.”

Living in a group has given Cinnamon perspective, when she hears her friends at school getting frustrated with their parents it makes her wish she had parents.  

“I think when they complain about their family/parents, you shouldn't complain about them, you're with them, and everything, like they care about you a lot,” Cinnamon added.

Cinnamon is starting eighth grade in the fall and is tall for her age, which she uses to her advantage.

“I like to play basketball, soccer, you name it, any kind of sport,” Cinnamon said.

What would make games even sweeter is having a family to cheer her on.

“If I could see parents on the sidelines, I would be happy and work harder to win, with my teammates,” noted Cinnamon.

The sky's the limit for Cinnamon - all she needs is a forever family to help her reach for the stars.

If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.

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