Wilton Johnson, a three-year client in our Independent Living Services’ Supportive Permanent Housing program, won a Governor’s Foster Care award in the youth category on May 29 in Madison.
A former foster youth who also formerly was homeless, Wil was honored for his advocacy for former and current foster youth. He does so through a number of avenues, including the state Youth Advisory Council, of which he is now president, and a local group dedicated to helping homeless youth called Youth Rising Up.
Wil recently presented a workshop at the Wisconsin Association of Child and Youth Care professionals’ annual conference on life after foster care and the importance of advocating for oneself.
“He’s traveled the same journey that other foster youth have; he is changing his path and is helping others change their path,” said Devin Thomas, his ILS counselor.
Wil said he was pleased to receive the award, which honors the “many unsung heroes in our community.” He said having such an award highlights the state’s “progress toward bettering outcomes for youth in and out of foster care.”