SURG: Victoria W.

Jun. 29, 2024

Victoria Wade

Victoria Wade


Victoria Wade is a rising third-year majoring in Learning and Organizational Change with a minor in International Studies. She plans to interview individuals in extended foster care about their experiences, specifically related to clothing.

Tell me about your SURG topic.

Wade: I’m doing it on foster children, specifically looking at the different stages of the system and how they dealt with identity expression through clothing and attire. I was a past foster kid, and I’m in extended foster care now. I’m very much into fashion. When I got into the foster care system, it allowed me to kind of play around with my style a bit. I dyed my hair a lot and I was able to pick clothes that actually fit with my style versus when I lived with my birth family, I was not really able to do that. That was my story, but I feel like that’s not the case for a lot of other foster children. I think it’s the opposite effect. I think also because of this instability in the system, they have worth [in] the items that they do have. I wanted to focus in on how much these children value the possessions they do have, like clothing.

How do you think this research will play into your long term goals?

Wade: I don’t really want to go into social work or social policy. I am very interested in it and I’ve been taking a lot more classes on it and it’s sparked this interest. Obviously I do have this identity and I do want to use my platform with this amazing education that I’ve been offered because not many foster children get the opportunity to go to a school like this. On top of that, when I was taking these past classes, I had the opportunity to do a final project on extended foster care. I was doing a lot of research on it and there’s not a lot of research out there on foster children because it’s such a hard population to get ahold of. You definitely need to have those connections. So because I have access to those connections with my positionality, I think that’s why it sparked this interest. And I love fashion, so mixing the two together.

What is your hope for this project?

Wade: I’m hoping it expands this research field for this specific topic and hopefully there’s more research out there on extended foster care or foster care in general. I feel like there needs to be so much more out there so that people can see how effective or where areas need improvement, specifically in the clothing department. I’m focusing in on California because that’s where I’m from and that’s where I was in foster care, but hopefully other states can start implementing something like this if I’m able to get a policy implemented and just get the train rolling on getting other states to support that.

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