SHARI WALKER is a former foster youth who entered the foster care system at the age fourteen. She graduated from California State University Northridge, where she majored in African American Studies with an emphasis on Social Science. She is in currently obtaining her Master of Social Work at the University of Southern California and continues to write and produce theater and poetry that brings awareness surrounding the transitional experiences after leaving foster care. Shari is currently a part of an ensemble theater performance directed by Kathleen Rubin called “It’s Just My Life” where she was able to write “Heart Mom, Bio Mom” during the creative writing workshops. Her one-woman show production to bring awarenesses about youth transitioning out of care entitled Sugar-Free: Foster Care Cognitive Dissonance has been selected to receive one of the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival scholarships.
Prior to attending USC, Shari worked in Social Services for the Department of Children and Family Services for Los Angeles County. She is a renowned keynote speaker and spoken word artist within LA County and currently sits on the Leadership Corp for both The National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI) Homeless Action Committee, steered by board member and U.S. Representative Karen Bass, and the Alumni Empowerment Council, steered by members The United Friends of The Children.
Shari hopes to combine her personal experience and current academia to create social change by spreading awareness through the creative arts for disconnected and transition age foster youth who are exiting care.