Strasburg Film Festival short film Like Her follows a directionless 19-year-old girl, who has aged out of the foster care system. Struggling to live independently and find her path in life, she reconnects with a friend from the past.
Michelle C. Yu is a young artist establishing her presence in multiple creative fields. Born in China and raised in New Jersey, her creative work draws from her multi-cultural upbringing and life experiences. Recognized more than 50 times in competitions and festivals, her work has been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, Los Angeles CineFest, and Times Square’s AMC Empire Theaters. She is a National Gold Medalist in Writing from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, a National YoungArts Foundation Merit Winner in Cinematic Arts, and the Grand Prize Winner of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Music Competition for her original song, “Into the Light.”
Currently, Michelle is the Head Producer for a student-profile show on Orange TV Network and an Associate Producer for CitrusTV News. In the past, she was a 2017-2018 Tribeca Film Fellow, an Assistant Editor for Academy Award®-nominee Christine Choy, a Future Artist at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a Production Intern for Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.” Michelle is attending Syracuse University in pursuit of a BFA in Film Production.
In the past decade, there have been films such as “Gimme Shelter”, “America”, and “Short Term 12” that have covered the foster care system and the traumatic effect on the children who are shifted from home to home. However, there have not been any films about those who survive the system, only to be cast out into society at age 18 completely unprepared to live an independent life. Many have experienced abuse or neglect and have lived with instability for years, which has affected their mental health and development. Without guidance, youths who age out of the foster care system do not fare well. They are at risk of homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, and post-traumatic stress. Considered a “nobody’s child,” they face the world alone. Their primary focus is on survival; most are never given opportunities to succeed.
Aging out of foster care without a permanent home is a serious social problem that deserves more attention. This narrative film looks at the challenges and issues that aged out foster youth face on a daily basis and the need for more resources and counseling to help them reach their full potential