Editor’s Note: After surviving more than a decade of her youth on the streets Trai Williams has become an important voice for change through the Mockingbird Society’s Youth Advocates Ending Homelessness program, which the Raikes Foundation supports as a grantee. As her official tenure with the program came to a close last month, she had the opportunity to reflect on her journey and share it with thousands on stage at We Day Seattle.
Since I was a little girl I have always had a big heart, a knack for helping others. Whether it was giving kids my lunch, protecting them against bullies even though I would get bullied too, sneaking kids in my room so they didn’t have to sleep outside, or coming out to my school so that other kids would no longer be the target. I could never just sit by and do nothing! My heart wouldn’t allow it.
As I got older I lost sight of that. At 13 years old I became homeless; not only did I want help, I NEEDED it. Yet—no one was there!