Izzy Rodriguez

6 years in Foster Care

19 years old


Izzy Rodriguez is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a focus on Law, Justice, and Social Change at the University of Michigan. Once she graduates, she plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Administration and continue to advocate for foster youth. Izzy hopes to spend her life helping others to achieve dignity and equity.

As the presiding President of Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiatives youth boards in Allegan and Barry Counties, Izzy uses her skills in public speaking, advocacy, and facilitation to unpack youth experiences to create a better understanding of foster care and develop improvements to the system. She is also a delegate for the National Foster Youth Institute Shadow Day Program. Izzy leads intercultural dialogues in a local high school as a volunteer, and derives satisfaction from being a peer leader and mentor for other young people. She is also volunteering to adapt and revise college curriculum, and has served as a volunteer coach for a young boys’ basketball team.

Izzy was in foster care for about six years. She feels that the many adversities she encountered while in the system have helped shape her into the person she is today: someone who cares, who loves, who empathizes, and who chooses better every day. Izzy passionately advocates for the foster care community, and wishes to make it easier for other young people to feel the hope that she struggled for years to find.

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2022 Outstanding Young Leaders