Winning Against All Odds

Kelsea Read

Kelsea Read

Class of 2018

“Knowledge is power. Nobody can take my education away from me. “

    — Kelsea Read

Kelsea Read, a 2015 graduate of Panther Creek High School and a 2018 graduate of Wake Tech is continuing to beat the odds as she pursues her nursing degree at the Martha Mann Smith School of Nursing at Wake Tech.  Hear Kelsea’s story in her own words.

Kelsea is one of 30 students in Wake Tech’s Fostering Bright Futures program.  Fostering Bright Futures was established in 2008 to help former foster care youth earn college degrees by providing academic and financial support. Nationwide, less than 3 percent of youth aging out of foster care attend college and graduate. Kelsea will tell you, with conviction, “I am not a statistic.” 

Kelsea credits her grandparents for instilling the value of education in her. She continues to receive encouragement and support from them as she makes her nursing studies a priority, with plans to become an emergency room traveling nurse. “I was born and raised in Wake County and I’m ready to experience other areas of this country while doing what I love,” says Kelsea.

The path to get to this stage in her education has not been smooth. The financial, mental, and emotional struggles were extremely challenging. “As a foster child, we’re trained not to ask for help,” says Kelsea. “I’ve learned to rely 100% on myself and be very resourceful because of that mindset.”

Utilizing the resources in the Fostering Bright Futures program was difficult at first but after speaking with others in the program, she became more comfortable asking for assistance. She quickly learned that Fostering Bright Futures was there to help her worry less about surviving and more about thriving in school. 

“I’m proud of my associate’s degree that I earned in 2018, but I’m not done yet,” says Kelsea, who has taken a giant leap toward achieving her goal. The Martha Mann Smith School of Nursing is one of Wake Tech’s few competitive entry programs due to limited clinical training sites. Her acceptance into the program validates her commitment, and is a shining example of how Fostering Bright Futures eliminates obstacles for former foster youth determined to succeed. Learn more and support the program at

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