The Miracle Blog

Rimy’s Story

Early Life

Rimy’s journey into advocacy and entrepreneurship was deeply rooted in her own experiences, shaped by the complexities of the foster care system from a young age. She is a natural protector, caregiver, and the second oldest of eleven siblings. Rimy says she thinks she must be seen as a whole person—acknowledging both the good and the bad, the strengths and the struggles that define her identity. Reflecting on her upbringing, Rimy shared, “I understand the ways trauma has shaped me…I lived in and navigated the child welfare system for 12 years.”

Rimy faced many challenges and adversities during her twelve years in the child welfare system. She found herself labeled “I was one of those ‘bad kids’ that people talk about…I was told I was too old and too much work to be adopted”. Rimy shared how this led to a lack of resources, from guidance in the college application process to where to find prom dresses. Rimy says kids do not only resource guard food or things but also people. They have severe instability; they may find help or learn about a resource but don’t want it taken away, so they don’t share it with others. “When you are a foster child, you are replaceable; you can say I don’t like this one; I want a new one, and they can do that. They don’t even need to tell them; they just pack your stuff and you on to the next house,” Rimy says.

College and intro to advocacy

Despite a lack of emotional support and educational resources, Rimy attended college, majoring in communications; it was during her time there that Rimy was introduced to the idea of advocacy, which ultimately led to her work in the foster care system. Encouraged by a supportive roommate, she began to speak out about her story and advocate for foster youth on her campus. The response was overwhelming, with Rimy receiving a standing ovation —an affirmation that she had something valuable to offer, that her voice mattered. This was a pivotal moment for her. She shared before that she felt she had “never done something that people were proud of,” after feeling encouraged and confident in herself and her story, she thought, “I can do this; I think I have something to offer, and I can make real change.”

Fueled by this newfound sense of purpose, Rimy approached the college administration, advocating for a private space on campus where students touched by the system could find solace, support, and solidarity. Rimy found her unwavering desire to bring people together and create meaningful change, driving her journey. Recognizing the importance of amplifying their voices and advocating for their needs, she took a bold step and helped create a Youth Advisory Board at her school. In this space, young individuals could share resources, build capacity, and advocate for themselves as they navigated the complexities of adulthood.

Rimy continued finding her footing in the advocacy space, sharing the same sentiment she had when reflecting on her time in the system: a lack of resources. She observed this lack in every space: educational support, resources for life skills when aging out of the system, courtroom etiquette, how to advocate for yourself, and even how to advocate for others. “I didn’t know the risk of advocacy,” she stated. She reflected on her initial experiences in the space sharing that there were many times she was invited into spaces to share her story but felt used and retraumatized by the questions they asked and things she shared, saying, “Horror story junkies – the people that want to know every little detail about the horror stories of my life.” And it was not only affecting her, “No one had taught me how to tell my story…no one told me that my story could affect my siblings, so I was being traumatized, and so was my family”. But she learned from all of these experiences and is now a resource for young people: “I didn’t walk into this space and know exactly what I needed to happen. I learned from my struggles and what I needed and then said I will be this person.”

Working in the Child Welfare Space – starting her business

The need for resources was undeniable in every aspect of her life. She knew she could help fill this space. Reflecting on the differences she sees from her time in the foster care system as opposed to working on the system, “As a young person I thought there were no resources, but working in the system I know there are a lot of resources, but they aren’t accessible or equitable.” So, she created The Collective, a place for resources to be shared equitably and in an understandable and accessible way, helping to bridge the gap between the available resources and the people who need them.

Rimy’s journey to entrepreneurship was fueled by a deep-seated desire to provide what she never had for others—whether it was her own siblings, children affected by the foster care system, or other youth in the system. “I am naturally a big sister,” she shares. “It is who I am and how I exist. I am not always ‘nice,’ but I am kind. That is what I am to my siblings—I am what I didn’t have.”

Rimy had so many milestone moments with no one there to support or cheer her on—proms, graduations, and the myriad of experiences that shape one’s transition into adulthood. She knew she would not let her siblings have the same experience and was equally determined to ensure that other youth in the system wouldn’t face the same reality either. Rimy knows this is an ever-changing space, saying, “The system that kids are growing up in now is not one that I grew up in, and I accept that,” This is why she believes so strongly in creating spaces where youth in the system can share their experiences and why collaboration with people with lived experience is so important in making real, lasting change.

Proud Moments and Continued Advocacy

When asked about her proudest moment, she shared a story of when a young person referred to Rimy when advocating for themselves, saying, “I know that it’s my right, and I will call Rimy if I need to.” Rimy remembers this moment, saying, “It was good to know that these young people knew that they could count on me…I really show up for them, and they know it”. She has set out to be a resource and reliable person to youth, and that is what she has become; this experience highlighted that and allowed Rimy to see the person she has become in this space, being the resource and support she never had for so many youth. At that moment, she knew she was the adult this child could count on, trust, and have her back. “They said I may be busy, and they know that, but they also know I will be here when they need me, I will show up, and I will advocate for them and their rights.”

Rimy’s perspective on the child welfare system comes from her upbringing in the system and her advocacy work. She notes, “I think it is super important when working in the community to be in the community.” She continues her work with the Youth Advisory Council. Talking to Rimy, you can see her passion for changing the foster care system and making it an easier place for children to navigate. Although she was seen as the “bad kid” and was not given the support she needed, Rimy is now a proud business owner, offering resources she never had to others and being the mentor she needed growing up. She can connect people within the system with the resources they need and create resources where she sees the gaps. This hands-on and reactive approach is truly changing the lives of so many children. Whether she equips them with the knowledge of their rights or helps them decide what is best to wear in court, Rimy is an advocate for them and someone they can trust. 

Interested in connecting with Rimy?

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